Ming, Mountains and Mausoleums!

Nicholas Quirke was sensing he was focussed on death a little too much on 29 May 2020, when he and Peng made a trip to to the Zhongshan Mountain National Park, a mere 5 KM from the centre of the city. The plan was to make an early start but after thier breakfast in the hotel, which included a bowl of black bean congee, which looked like dirt, they went for a coffee and time slipped way. There were 4 major areas of interest and they made a start with Dr Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum, which was overwhelming in its size and intention. In a spot of outstanding natural beauty that an individual could be so honoured was astonishing to him. 4 gateways led a path up Zhongshan Mountain to the final resting place of the man, if not for his early death, many mourned as potentially saving China from the brand of communism that led Mao and his followers to the Cultural Revolution, The great leap forward and the isolation from the world at large. His spirit here has been given every chance to reach heaven and the Deep blue tiles of the buildings reaching into the sky echo his final destination. From this revered resting place they made their way back down and Walked through the Forrest of sycamores and conifers to the equally exotic Lingu Scenic Area, weaving through woods and paths and Ming pavilions and gardens to the beautiful pagoda, the lingu tower built in the 1930’s to commemorate and remember the thousands who had given their lives to fighting the Japanese invasions. They climbed 9 floors up a spiral staircase and were rewarded with spectacular views of the mountains, watching the tree tops sway like waves in the fierce wind, and the views of the lake and city. They made their way to the Lingu temple and to the adjacent restaurant for some noodles, but as these were made of egg and there was nothing vegan on the menu which meant they had to head to the Ming Tombs Scenic Area without any lunch and snacking on a bag of fruit and nuts Nicholas had prepared in Beijing. He was impressed by the number of visitors there were in these scenic areas, in particular the ancient tombs and the sacred path, lined with animals, soldiers and civic guards seemed thronging with the young and old. Here he was on familiar territory with the imperial colours and structures, despite their state of Decay, housing the long dead Emperors. The finals challenge was to get to the top of Purple Mountain, thus called from ancient times, as purple clouds can be found hovering overs its peaks. To his relief, although it involved a short Uphill hike, it did not mean a long arduous climb as they took the cable car to the top and back down, though not before being harangued by drivers seeking toi drive them to the top. Peng made a time lapse video of their ascent and descent and whilst at the top, they discovered a giant Gold Buddha and enjoyed the wondrous views. At the hotel he discovered a technical flaw in his GoPro added more time and effort to his film editing. The evening consisted of a trip to enjoy the buzzing nightlife of the Qinhuai scenic area. To the entertainment of locals Nicholas was given disgusting tasting Smelly tofu to eat and a glutinous rice delicacy fried in the smelly tofu oil but in its centre was a delicious sweet black sesame paste. After a walk along the river bank to the city walls, where the gaudy tawdry Lantern festival decorations were in full illumination, and the porcelain Pagoda, they had covered 13 miles and a taxi back to the hotel and sleep was heralded. ,

4 Comments

  1. Ming Tombs…All the different animals lining the entrance?…I think I went there in ’97.

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