Wednesday, May 28, 2008

1,080 Steps Down the Mountain

We decided to walk down the mountain rather than take the chair lift down. Exercise is good and the challege of going down 1,080 steps appealed to all of us. By the way, the stairs, as well as all the materials for building the temples and objects in the temples, were all carried up by laborers - true men of steel. The porters who carry building stones up have calf muscles that look like iron. You can't help but think about how difficult it is as you take the long walk down and meet these men going up.
Our legs were starting to feel like jelly by the time we made it to the bottom and we just had light backpacks on.
Part way down we encountered a railing covered in locks. We learned that Chinese couples like to have their names engraved on the locks, make a wish for themselves, and attach the lock to the rail. The key is then thrown over the edge to seal their wish.
Our guide, Guo Bao, suggested that go to another temple this day because the next day we had a long drive to Taiyuan and had to catch a plane to Chengdu
Top Right: Michel Czehatowski, Mark Van Loan, Guo Bao descending the mountain by stairs.
Top Left: Locks on a rail
Bottom: The last temple tour of the day.

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