Farewell Tour – Most Beautiful Yunnan

We climb through the narrow passage in the cliff, the whitewater of Jinsha River 100m below. There, on a narrow ledge, the first ladder clings to the vertical cliff. 168 almost vertical steps with no safety and not a soul in sight; but its our best way out.

We are on day 5 of our Yunnan adventure.  Its our last trip before leaving China and moving back to Germany. And maybe it is the most spectacular trip, yet. Yunnan is an amazingly beautiful place with stunning nature and amazing people. We would not have wanted to miss it.

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Relax weekend in Nanjing

Nanjing greets us with a beautiful sea of morning fog below us (or air pollution but only hardcore rationalists would ponder over the difference). From our room on 69 floor, we have a view on the lake and the hills in which the Sun Yatsen memorial lies.

Nanjing is so close to Shanghai but we never managed to visit. Until last weekend. Patrick gave us a nudge. Well, Nanjing is indeed worth a visit.

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人山人海 on Taishan – the quintesential China

Its 5.45am an pitch black when we step out the door. As out eyes accustom to the light, shapes emerge from the shadows – thousands of them. Dressed in in Army winter coats, they march through the dark streets on Taishan’s mountain top. The sunrise we came to see, becomes marginalized by the spectacle of 人山 (People Mountain) that unfolds before us.

We have climbed the over 6.000 steps of Taishan (Mount Tai). The climb is said to reward not only with a beautiful sunrise but also a life of onehundred years. Lets see.

But most importantly, the climb of Taishan is the essence of China itself: Beautiful nature, tranquil temples, and people, people, people. Continue reading “人山人海 on Taishan – the quintesential China”

One Day in Paris – Tianducheng

The familiar silhouette of the Eiffel Tower is clearly visible against the gray sky. Streets are lines by typical Paris architecture. Only the Seine is about 9,000km away. We are in Skycity in Tianducheng, a suburb of the City of Hangzhou.

The Chinese Eiffel Tower yeas built 9 years before world leaders came to Hangzhou for the G20 summit. For what reason? None apparent, other than for Chinese couples to take wedding pictures. Continue reading “One Day in Paris – Tianducheng”

Zhangjiajie – A visit to the Avatar Mountains

Zhangjiajie – world famous as the Pandora Mountains from the movie Avatar – is a stone forest with needles of quartz sandstone which reach up to over 1.000m. Despite all warnings, we decided that it is the place to go over the May holidays and we – the brave – were rewarded by small crowds, magnificent views and thigh pains worse than almost anything we have ever experienced.

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Huangshan – The misty mountains

Huangshan may be China’s most iconic and most famously painted mountain range. It is said to be enough to visit this mountain in China (a statement I certainly disagree with as there are many beautiful areas in China).  Huangshan is sometimes called the “mountain of people” (“people mountain, people sea”). Why that is becomes visible after we exit the cable car. Streams of people move along the walkways. Sometimes we even have to wait in line to move. But we are rewarded with the most stunning views, esp. as we caught one of the rare sunny days in the mountains. Continue reading “Huangshan – The misty mountains”

Top of the World – A tour to the North Side of Mt. Everest

We are standing at 6.000m above sea level. Our view wanders 2.800m upward to the 3rd pole, the higest point in the world. We have been hiking the North Side of Mount Everest towards the Advanced Base Camp. The air is thin, the wind is strong. During the day the sun burns down on us mercylessly, while during the cold night, we huddle in our sleeping bags and listend to the wind barrel down on our tents. Here, Mallory, Irvin and their expedition had already made their way from the Bay of Bangalore, when they discovered the small valley, which paves the way towards the summit. Continue reading “Top of the World – A tour to the North Side of Mt. Everest”