張家界

Over Easter weekend, I traveled to the “Avatar Mountains” in Hunan province with a few childhood classmates of mine. The mountains left me breathless (partially due to a severe respiratory infection, but, also, the view was beautiful). Highlights:

+ Inexplicably scattered along our hike up the mountain were these large, heavy stone replicas of playing cards. Some were cracked, some had to be flipped over to see the front side. It’s still a mystery.

+ Every so often as we hiked back down, we encountered little games/obstacles: kidney-shaped stepping stones; clusters of mushroom-like stools of varying heights and sizes; an oversized chinese chess board with movable pieces (though too heavy to really play). 

+ Riding the cable cars, weaving in between and above the mountains, was the closest I’ll ever get to pretending to be a Na’vi flying on an Ikran through Pandora. We rode it twice, during both daytime and nighttime. After an audible OMG moment at the beginning of the night ride, our car was totally silent as we soared seamlessly around the green pillars and towers, so high up we couldn’t see the ground in the darkness. At moments a mountain would be so close, it almost felt like we could just pull over and land.

+ We waited a very long time to ride an elevator.

+ Looking out at all the tall, narrow mountains in front of us, I kept commenting on how I wished there were a bridge to one of the peaks. At some point, there was, kind of.

+ My favorite meal was, of course, the night market/street stalls. I was excited to see my first 南瓜餅 since the last time I was in Hunan province (though, admittedly, this one was inferior).

+ My bed was the largest/widest king-sized bed I have ever seen. It was probably the length of my apartment’s living room. I slept curled up in the corner, the rest of the bed untouched. I’d considered sleeping in the very center, but then I realized how much effort it would take to (literally) crawl in and out of bed. Also, the comforter was one ridiculously long blanket, which made me wish A was there so we could make the ultimate human burrito. (I can’t believe I just spent all these words describing the size of my hotel bed.)

+ I always like the part of the airplane flight where you get to look out the window at the seascape of cloud textures.

My photos can be found at: gallery.me.com/tonton729

Keane’s photos (a better collection than mine) can be found at: flickr.com/photos/shumshot/sets/72157626576156550/

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *