You are reading right: We've even tried to buy some old Chinese Red Army jackets in the local outlet store. We wanted to be very prepared for the well-forgotten kind of weather. We wanted to see the snow. Not one that holds on mount Hermon in Israel for
You are reading right: We’ve even tried to buy some old Chinese Red Army jackets in the local outlet store. We wanted to be very prepared for the well-forgotten kind of weather. We wanted to see the snow. Not one that holds on mount Hermon in Israel for
counted days each year, but the real snow that paints everything in white, the howling wind at the other side of the frozen window and the high peaks, sinking in the clouds. Well, maybe for that we should visit some Hollywood film set, since the real surprises
usually tend to vary from expectations.
The four of us landed in the middle of the village, quickly left the luggage in a hotel and started visiting the most famous temples. It is worth to mention that all the temples are real and active, meaning that the monks are there to live, to pray and to see crowds of tourists all around. The halls are well-decorated and in some you can be easily blinded by the shining golden statues.
The next morning we’ve climbed several hundred stairs to reach the Bodhisattva Peak, crowned by the temple. Despite the off-season there was no shortage in tourists, accompanied with pilgrim monks, nuns and beggers.
Matthias states that it always worth to bring some small souvenir home from the
memorable places and launched for us the most remarkable bargaining show (the latter can be almost never avoided, simply because of the fact that some people invent a dedicated math for foreigners – as a very funny example, one woman was permanent in pressing the “*” (star) key, instead of “+” (plus), when calculating the price). So, after 20
minutes or more of talking, going away, laughing (both sides), returning back and running in circles the precious egg-shaped stone reached the right hands. I can only mention the shape, because we’ll never know what is inside – Matthias prefers to leave
that secret undiscovered :)
It was cold and one of the best (and well-known) ways to survive is to consume a heating liquid. Luckily, there are a few in China that combine smooth taste with below-the-affordable price. One of those is called “Er-Gua-Tou”, consisting of 58% pure
alcohol and other mystic ingredients. So, sipping it from time to time we’ve madeour way to the evening restaurant (and, indeed, we were pretty hungry). It was supposed to be a farewell launch, since our plan was to depart to the next destination, while Matthias and Ella decided to stay for a few more nights. We’ve got our meals and
some beer contributed to the sad atmosphere, so that the rest of the evening had been swamped in the deeps of my own unconsciousness.
When we’ve got up, Matthias and Ella mobilized all their magical powers, so we’ve decided to stay for a few more days and have a walk together. Where to? The answer was simple: Matthias just chosen a direction and we’ve started to climb the mountains.
Ella had one small bottle of Pepsi that was supposed to keep us alive from the hangover and exsiccation, so we’ve started. Guys (and gals) – it was the most psychedelic route of our journey. What a views were being opened to the pilgrim monks and nuns (female monks)! The panoramas were constantly evolving, our final destination was mostly defined by the sunset time and I couldn’t stop shooting. We’ve reached three moderate summits, passing through temples and pavilions and ended at a backdoor to a small village that only locals can find (please help me to keep my illusions to myself). We’ve passed
backyards, very simple houses with tractors and Buicks parked outside (yep, you are reading right), seen some pet and notes and successfully passed near several dogs.
From the village we’ve followed the main road, since it started getting dark and after nearly two hours of walking reached the far Longquan Temple. It became very cold. So cold that the raindrops had turned into snowflakes! At that moment my dream had started to come true. The gray sky, the forest and the white-stoned temple (no tourists accompanied us there, but we could hear the singing monks before their supper) – all that was the second dozage of psychedelic injection no one of us will ever forget.
We were very tired and lucky, getting a taxi back “home”. Ella invited us to taste a very famous local dish, called “Hot-Pot”: the waiter brings a bowl with a soup and puts it on fire (usuall the bowl has two sections with a spicy and a non-spicy soup), and you order kinds of vegetables, mushrooms and meat you need to catch with the chopsticks and keep for some time in the boiling soup, bringing them to the edible condition.Yummy! Sorry, no photos, I was too busy eating, but I’ll make sure to picturize it during the next opportunity!
Another peaceful night (not including some fights for the TP with the hostel’s management) and we were back on the road to the new destination – all about that later