Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pingliang and Kongtong Shan

After a long driving day from Lanzhou, we arrived in Pingliang.  We visited Kongtong Shan (shan means mountain in Chinese).  This is a Taoist mountain and has lots of temples all over it.

We ate at a hotpot restaurant here.  It's a bit like fondue.  You cook your food at the table in a broth.  This is the vegetarian table (4 of us) and we ate every bit of food that's there.  The watermelon was nice to help cool down your mouth - the broth was a bit spicy.

There was an outdoor pool hall and Gino (in the pink shirt) tried his luck.  I think he lost a lot, but he was definitely having a good time.

A map of the mountain.

We rode a bus partway up the mountain and started our stair climbing from here (about in the middle of the map above).  I made it to the temples on the far side of those cliffs (the top of the map).

Started hiking from those buildings down there....

In the middle of the photo, you can spot a little bit of a lake (actually a reservoir). I went down at least a million (!) steps to get to it at the end of the day (bottom left of the map). 

Most of the stairs were this steep.  It makes for slow, scary walking.

This is near the bottom, where the reservoir is.  I climbed down from way up there....

Nice section of roadway over there (it's totally undercut)....  We walked as close to the uphill side of the road as possible.  You'll be pleased to know that this section of road was closed to vehicles (at least officially, although I'm sure someone will drive past the barrier anyway).

Next stop, Xi'an.

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