I decided to head to mount Huashan, in desperate search for fresh air, a bit of cool ( there was a heat wave and 38/39 C with humidity and pollution made it feel more like 42/43 C) and a nature shot.
I dreamed of fresh air, the cool shadow trees, the open space, the views, the smell of grass, that special cool breeze on the skin.
I needed an hour taxi, an hour half train, I missed mine so that added another hour waiting time, it was sunday, another taxi, and a bus. It was misty, the visibility was extremely poor, the heat extremely hot.I was comitted.
I didnt realise there was going to be many queues and check points, I mean by that stages where I am required to pay for : entry to the “reserve ” the bus that leads to the mountain, a cable car if I didnt walk up all the way.
I had planned on doing so bu after arriving so late and the heat being so tough already, I chickened and I felt very bad for it.
The queue for the tickets was ok, but the one for the cable car was unbelievable.a snake queue that took over 2 hours! needless to say I was tempted to leave many times, yet even escaping the queue was tough….trapped in the middle of the crowd and the heat.
Take a look, this is a fraction of it in the far end, on the left we can see the pale little people that are at the end of the queue. It will be worth it – imagine, I will be half way at the top, be able to walk in nature and fill my lungs with fresh air and my eyes with beautiful landscape. I already had some goose bumps on the bus ride leading tio this cable car through gorges, it had given me great hopes.
Sadly once I arrived at the top, I was far from being alone.I should have known from the queue!
there was also no ” nature to walk through” but some stairs and narrow path, more crowded than the Christmas sales. I took a left and walked to one of the peaks, passing a sign saying toilets.From then on, the air was filled with a stench that made me gag and nearly throw up.it lasted all the way to the top.The smell that is.
I had to leave asap.I headed to the other direction, I didn’t know if I wanted to cry or to laugh at the irony.I had come here for fresh air dammit!
With a very narrow angle, i can see how the landscape here could be majestuous, really stunning.
But this shot to me gives a great account of the place: nature , mist and pollution, people, a lot of them, canalised.
Here I met another fellow traveller, frenchman Thibaud who spoke fluent mandarin! and after a little wander we decided to head back to Xian. The sky wasn’t going to lift suddenly nor were everybody going to vanish