This morning Jessica and I met Nancy (English name) for an outing to the mountain! This trip was so amazing it deserves its own post and I am sure I won't do our experience justice in my descriptions but I'll try! After hopping on the city bus and arriving at the bottom of the mountain we boarded cable cars to ride up the mountain. I ended up in an orange cable car by myself so I had little to distract me from the heart pounding height. It was thrilling to ride up the mountain; it felt like going up a roller coaster. Beneath us, as we left the city behind, cornfields appeared, frogs croaked in a swamp, birds sang through the trees, and people went about their day in scattered buildings. It grew peaceful as we left the noises of the city and began hearing signs of nature. Our trip in the cable cars took about 25 minutes and that was just enough time to take in the view of the city and mountains. It was also enough time for my stomach to nervously do some flips and turns as I took in this bird's eye view! 

At the top we were welcomed by the sound of a rooster crowing and entered Jinyun mountain park. As we embarked on our journey up the mountain we passed several statues and carvings, people engaging in Tai Ji and a worship building. In and near the worship building people lit incense to ask for a long life for their parents, for wealth, a beautiful future, safety for their family, and a good marriage. We discovered that many parents were there asking Buddha to help their children pass the college entrance exams. We didn't take pictures inside the buildings because of the bad luck it brings but it was great to see how they worship. Upon entering the great Buddha hall we saw the four heavenly kings which are asked to bring good weather for the crops. Good luck is brought to those who tie ribbons to trees and it is thought that what your heart wants will come true. 

Walking up the mountain on the stone stairs and winding trails makes you feel so isolated even though we were so close to the city. It was great to escape the city for awhile and relax. On our way we also saw a well that is over 1000 years old and is popular because a famous writer dipped his brush in it to write. There was so much history in this environment! 

On one peak of the mountain, after trudging up the stairs, was a statue of a lion and a tremendous view of the city! It kind of put life into focus being in such a treasured place and the wind was very refreshing! After this scenery we headed over to another peak to a temple. I was brave and went up the 8 stories to the very top! As I climbed each flight of stairs I had to keep encouraging myself to move on and not think about the danger of being so high. I was on top of the mountain and in the highest point I could go in the temple! It was like being in a movie and I couldn't get enough of the view. It's a view I will NEVER forget! I just wanted to absorb everything and take in all I could!  It was a beautiful sight to see. 

With shaking legs we descended the mountain by way of the narrow stairs and back to a bus which waited to take us down the mountain and into to the city. The road back was winding and it provide us with different scenery for about 30 minutes. It was enough time to calm down all my senses after taking in such a pure, beautiful, historic park. We conquered the mountain, hit up the market, and got lunch all before it started to sprinkle and in time to take a nap. This is a place I think everyone should see! 

Things I learned:
- Littering is not uncommon. People pick it up to exchange for money so it doesn't stay on the ground too long. 


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