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The Incredible Huang Shan and Hong Cun weekend
It's not just the shiny new chairlift. The whole mountain has a fresh new feeling, as if everything was put in place last month and just opened. All the stairs and concrete work, and the clever imitation wood railings, seem brand new. I think this is the guy who built it all, the real hero of Yellow Mountain. Think about it. Thousand and thousands of stone steps, all carved and textured by a guy with a hand chisel. Makes me feel humble.
A couple of things worth mentioning about Huang Shan - it is spotlessly clean and free of garbage, thanks to a small army of maintenance staff constantly picking up after the crowd. We particularly appreciated the no smoking rule along the trail. That made a huge difference to the air quality for us non-smokers.
Next stop, a lecture on tea and a chance to buy some:
After dinner, complete with a birthday cake for me compliments of Ms. Liu, we were off to the Huang Shan city night market, where we actually watched the process of making silk. Pictures as soon as I can get them from Ruth.
And it's not over yet: Day 2 the Ancient Village of Hong Cun
This is when my camera's memory stick announced it had stored enough pictures, so I don't have quite the same photo coverage. Suffice it to say that I'm amazed this place didn't make it into the lonely planet guide, because it is quite remarkable.
And then it was a long bus ride home to Jiangnan University, with the bus dropping us off at the gates to our apartment building. Talk about service, and a great end to a great weekend.
Our thanks to Jenny for taking such good care of GouGou while we were away. And of course our thanks to Ms. Liu, Cherry Cai, Mr. Ding, and Jessie for taking such good care of us, and the leaders of the Foreign Language department for giving us this unforgettable weekend.