Sunday, the weather was supposed to be clear, so we made plans to go to the top of Mt. Tai. The hotel we're staying in sits right at the base of the foothills of this mountain. Now, if you'd like more information about the mountain and its importance in Chinese culture, you can go here. Go ahead, I'll wait......
Okay, so we set out about 9 a.m. to climb the bottom part of the mountain. We planned to climb as far as the cable car, and then take that to the top. Unfortunately, out of all the ways up the mountain, we seem to have chosen the wrong one, because we never got to the cable cars along the path we took. On the bright side, I'm pretty sure we saw parts of the mountain that most tourists never see.This place, for instance, seemed to be all new buildings. People were still working on finishing the interiors of them. We climbed a little higher than this before finding some very nice people who, while they didn't speak English, were nevertheless able to communicate to us that we were in the totally wrong place.
So back down the mountain we climbed. We took a cab back to the hotel so we could get the ATM card, so we could get more money, so we could take a bus to the cable cars. We also ate lunch because by then it was past noon. So, greatly refreshed, we headed out again.
This time, we took the bus to the mid-point of the mountain. Here is a view out of the bus window:The ride to the cable car took about 15 minutes. We got off in a little area with lots of shops and walked up the path (more climbing!) to the cable car station. The ride up the side of the mountain took another 10 minutes or so, and we emerged on the summit of Mt. Tai!
And now this post is already too long, so I shall continue my tale of adventure tomorrow!