After a night’s rest in Xi’an, we headed out to go see one of China’s five sacred mountains, Huashan. We took the subway, to a high speed train, taxied to the visitor’s center, bought an entrance ticket, bought a bus ticket, and rode the bus to our starting point (phew). We could see the surrounding mountains, which were beautiful, but honestly at this point, I was wondering if it was going to be worth all the trouble of getting here. We had opted for the much easier option of taking a cable car to a point near the top instead of climbing the notoriously narrow, death defying path up the sheer rock. So we piled in to a cable car.
At first, it was nice and kind of exciting because we were moving quickly, but I grew worried when the peak didn’t look like the pictures I had seen online. Then we zoomed over what I thought was the departure point and I freaked out. The cable car had another 2/3 of the journey remaining. We floated over the green valley floor approaching the white cliff face. The cables looked impossibly steep, but we just kept going and going and going. It was simply awe inspiring.
After we got out of the cable car, we spent the rest of our time walking. We reached the highest peak and also took some snack breaks along the way.
Over and over again we all just said how awesome this mountain was. I also couldn’t get over the fact that I’d never heard anyone talk about this place before. It definitely is one of my top three favorite places in China contending with Zhangjiajie, Mountains in the Fog, and the wall at Jiankou, The Great Wall and Drift King.
I’m telling you, if you take the west cable car like we did and you are unimpressed, you’ve made it to the wrong mountain. It’s amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tomorrow we’ll be off to Inner Mongolia where Alex will join us for a trip to a grassland and then a desert. Huashan will certainly be a tough act to follow.