As amazing as Shanghai is, sometimes you just need to get out. A long way out, to somewhere where the stars are visible at night and traffic is non-existent. For the last 4 days I've been on an odyssey of sorts to a different China - one where life moves more slowly and nature is central.
Six hours south-west of Shanghai, in beautiful Anhui province, lies a range of 74 mountains collectively called Huang Shan (literally Yellow Mountain), but individually named much more poetically - Celestial Peak, Monkey Watching the Sea, The Immortal Pointing the Way, Monkey Holding a Peach in Both Hands, Rosy Cloud Peak, and Heavenly Dog Watching the Moon.
The first vision of Huang Shan is from below , where I am filled with the magnificent power of these mountains. Rising vertically and precipitously from skirts of heavily wooded forest, the pale rose granite looms above me, distantly crowned with clusters of windswept pines.
The mountain top is for tomorrow, though. Tonight, exhausted from the long journey, I will be sleeping heavily nearby in the village of Hongcun.
Labels: Anhui, Huang Shan