Yellow Mountains, Yellow River, Red Door

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I never thought I would be longing for the air in China but it has been so smokey and humid here in BC! (Started writing this post last week-the air is a lot better now!) Shanghai and Luoyang were polluted but in the middle of our May China adventure we got some gulps of fresh air out in the country 🙂 I was amazed at how clean the Yellow River was. It should have been called the Blue River! Definitely cleaner than the Fraser.  Apparently a big dam filters out all of the debris.  The Yellow Mountain isn’t yellow either. It is called that to honour the “Yellow Emperor” https://www.chinahighlights.com/huangshan/yellow-mountain/

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Usually I go to nature places to escape people and enjoy the quiet. Not so here. It was like downtown Vancouver after the fireworks.  This was even a week day in the off-season. I hate to propogate a stereotype about China being crowded all the time.  There are indeed very quiet neighbourhoods even in Shanghai (See “Singing birds and Silent Nights in Shanghai”).

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In one such quiet village outside of Luoyang we stopped for a bathroom break. I saw these two lovely ladies and wanted to chat.. “Forest, will you translate?..” “Nope, gotta go to the bathroom. You’ll be fine!”  He left along with the rest of my Asian companions.  Time to put my language skills to the test! gulp.

“Ni hao!” “Wo shi jianada ren” (I am Canadian.)  “Can I take your picture?” (I couldn’t say that in Mandarin so I just pointed to my camera.)  “Nimen hen mei li!” (You are very beautiful!)   I must have said the compliment right because they complied! When Forest came back we were good friends.  He gave me an “I told you so look”.

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Our fearless tour guide cousin took us to this village as well as to a number of museums in Luoyang in one day! Chinese tours are intense! (Forest’s parents just did Ontario, Quebec and the maritimes in 10 days!)  It was fun getting to know this new relative and his English was pretty good!

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His favourite museum was the tomb museum. People painstakingly moved these ancient tombs to one area to show.  This one was for royalty. The rest were underground caves and were quite a bit smaller.  If a man was rich enough he had a tomb for himself, his first wife, and a smaller one for his second wife.  The architecture was beautiful but it also felt very solemn spending time in tombs. The sad thing is people originally put a lot of treasure in their tombs because they believed that they could enjoy it in their next life.  The coffins were also very ornate.  All of the treasure and coffins have now, of course, become grave robbers’ loot.  I left with a heavy heart.

 

Back to Yellow Mountain…

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This was our personal tour guide.  Her English name is Donna. She was super sweet and super fit!

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Notice that she is in front followed by Forest’s super fit mama.  We climbed steps like these for about 5 hours and while we were huffing and puffing and groaning, Donna was casually strolling with a phone in one hand as if she was in a mall.

Forest’s dad has arthritis so he got the royal treatment. For a small sum you can hire guys to carry you up all those stairs.

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I don’t think that would go far in Canada with WCB etc…

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It was all worth it to see peaks like these

 

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Forest was taking the pictures on his fancy camera so there aren’t many of him.

Except for this one.

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Yes, that cool dude is my husband. And I am so glad that he brought me to his homeland.

I love being on mountain tops but I really feel comfortable by the water.

Our last hotel stay in China was by this beautiful lake.  And of course it rained. This West Coast girl felt right at home.   From the open red door to new and wondrous sights to the familiar trickle of rain.  I love China.

 

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