Welcome to Wulingyuan National Park

OK — since this’ll be the first shot, sequentially, that anyone will see from the time Steve and I were together (even though it’s the last of very many shots that I’ve been posting gradually for more than a week now), I’ll do a bit of introducing. My wonderful older brother Steve came and spent nearly three weeks visiting me here in China. For two of them, I had to work so he stayed in Beijing and did the usual tourist things during the day: Forbidden City, Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Temple of Earth, etc. He found Beijing endlessly fascinating and was, I think, really quite blown away by the Forbidden City. (Ming Emperor Yongle, whose idea I believe it was, would probably be quite pleased to know it can still impress, 600 years later.)

During his middle week, I was able to get free from work, so we did some traveling in China. The many shots that follow are the highlights of our travels: first Wulingyuan National Park in Northwest Hunan, where we ended our trip; after that shots of our wonderful cruise through the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, which took up the middle of our trip; and after that shots of Chongqing city and of the ancient Buddhist cave art at Dazu, a day trip outside Chongqing (formerly known as Chunking).

Wulingyuan blew my mind, and I think Steve’s — once you find trails that are away from the hordes of tourists (it’s very popular with Chinese tourists, and also attracts lots and lots of Korean group tours), you can walk for hours through absolutely blessed landscapes of mountains, rocks, trees and magnificent vistas. Our first day was on the main trails, so though we saw the beauty we were distracted by the crowds. Our second day, as you’ll see, we found remarkable beauty and the peace and quiet to really enjoy some nice long chats and enjoy each other’s company. Thanks for visiting, Steve!

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