Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hua Shan: The Holy Mountain

Mount Hua or Hua Shan is the most beautiful place I have been in China, with The Bund in Shanghai a close second. They could not be more different despite the fact that both are overrun with humanity.

The bus windows rattled deafeningly while we traversed the switchbacks up and down from the cable cars that would bring us half way up the "Most Precipitous Mountain Under Heaven." A thick fog wrapped the mountain for most of the day.

No idea who these nice people are, but I was amused to notice that one of the revolutionaries appears to be shooting her in the head.

When the wait to get down is more than two hours and the wait to get up at 11AM was close to an hour, one has to wonder if hopping the fence to get in front of nobody is a rational decision.

This gentleman and his friend announced to me and the other three people in our cable car that they were members of the Chinese Olympic Committee with responsibility for judo, wrestling and weight-lifting.

Red ribbons and locks adorn the holy mountain as a way of making a wish for loved ones.

It is said that bottled water has about 1000 times the carbon footprint of tap water. Certainly it deserves a shrine for its huge impact on the world.


Not the lower sign's text!

"Bring up your dead!" We passed remarkable old men with twenty foot lengths of ribar perched on their shoulder making their way up the narrow paths.

There are many Taoist shrines on the five peaks, each with an attendant monk who periodically clangs a bell.

Noodle making in altitude.

Yes, it rained and, yes, I bought a disposable poncho because being cold all day was not my idea of fun.

Nothing too remarkable about this sign. There were ones that said "No striding" which means the same thing on this mountain as it does in the subway systems in China--don't hop the fence or you might die.

Mount Washington is not nearly as cool. Sorry, folks. I expect that comment to generate some discussion back home, but the weather station here and the slightly higher peak make this a winner in Coolest Meteorological Sites.

I saw very little litter except one person tossing an empty plastic bottle off a thousand foot precipice. They have done a very tasteful job of trying to stay ahead of it.

With all due respect, I wonder if the sign-makers really knew what ecotope meant. See

The line to get off the mountain by cable car was very, very, very long.

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