Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Mountain Climbing

I remember when I was in China and someone suggested I go "mountain climbing" I was almost freaked out. I conjured up visions of clinging from the side of a rocky mountain holding onto a rope that was burning my hands as I looked at a deep crevice below me that I was about to fall into. I learned that in China one walks up steps to the top of the mountain - with some risk of toppling over the side as many of the steps had no hand rail, and greater risks of muscles seizing and the chest heaving as it sucked in oxygen to give one strength to reach the top.

I was invited to climb a mountain today - and again I checked how we would climb. Ropes and pulleys??? No - just steps. OK, I'm game.

I must say the steps were better - recently constructed timber steps with good handrails on either side - but they went up high onto the mountain, and again it tested my lungs! But I was not the only one as folk younger than me enjoyed taking a small rest at the resting seats along the way.

At the top of the mountain were Buddhist Temples - quite a few of them actually. One group was near the peak - though one cannot reach the peak as it is almost vertical from there. The temples and other buildings were surrounded by azaleas and other flowers.

We went down the other side of the mountain - few steps here, but a long roadway that kept going down and down. Interesting though as we passed through a narrow roadway with shops (especially restaurants and food vendors) on either side.

Again there were more temples - one surrounded by stone
constructions that go back many years - a lay Buddhist built them to say thank you to Buddha. He lived there for several years creating the stone structures - even going up into a cave on the mountain to build his strange towers.

Further along we came to a lake - surrounded by spectacular azaleas in bloom.

I hope you enjoy the photos.

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