Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mount Emei

We arose early on Saturday morning and headed to Mount Emei, one of four sacred Buddhist mountains in China. Mount Emei is home to China's first Buddhist temple and over seventy monasteries now dot the side of the mountain.

We boarded buses at the base of the mountain and rode for two hours towards the 10,000 foot (3,000 meter) summit. Along the way, we caught glimpses of the mountain but were mostly met with rain and mist.


After the bus ride and a 15 minute hike, we arrived at the cable car which would take us to the top. Sadly, we were greeted by rain and thick fog. At this point, I wasn't exactly sure what kind of view we were going to see.



We disembarked and found that snow was lining the sides of the trails. We stopped for a quick milk tea to warm our hands and continued the short hike to the summit. 


Unfortunately, upon arriving at the top, we found ourselves standing among the clouds that we were supposed to be peering down upon. Not exactly the picturesque view we had hoped for.



At times, the clouds were so thick that we could barely make out the silhouettes of others at the summit.


We wandered around for a bit, visiting the gold and silver temples which sit upon the mountain top. We also saw countless locks fastened to the railings along the summit. Called Lovers Locks, the Chinese engrave their initials and that of their loved one onto the lock. Then they fasten it to the rail and throw the key off the side of the mountain, signifying their eternal love.



And just as we prepared to head back down the mountain, our fortunes (or perhaps just the wind) shifted and the cloud forest began to appear below us.







We started in awe at the view below for a few minutes and watched as the sun melted the snow around us. Heading back down the mountain, we remarked how serene and peaceful the mountain had seemed. That is, until K got bitten by a monkey. Then the rest of our trip consisted of blood, shots, and four letter words.


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