Mt. Lu

29 Mar

This past Sunday, I went with the Jin’an Senior High School faculty to climb Mt. Lu.

Mt. Lu (or Lushan) is a very famous mountain here in China (the locals cannot believe I had never heard of it in America, because it is so well-known here). People in Jiujinag are very proud that their city is strongly associated with Mt. Lu (being the nearest city to the base of the mountain), and I’ve heard a lot of rhetoric about it. My first week of teaching, I was asked in almost every class if I had been to Lushan, and I’ve been told many times how it’s one of China’s gems of the Earth, and it’s Jiangxi’s precious jewel, and so on.

I was excited to see the mountain, finally, after hearing so much about it’s beauty, but I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about climbing it. I am not, as they say here in China, “sportive”. And I’ve certainly never been someone who feels the need to scale large things just because they are there.

On the other hand, it seemed like a once in a lifetime experience, and a chance to climb one of China’s great natural treasures.

As it turned out, no one made much progress in terms of actually climbing the mountain. It’s very, very tall–it takes hours to climb–and the timing was such that climbing even halfway up the slope would have meant missing the school-sponsored lunch in the village below. So instead of climbing all morning, we meandered upwards for a while and then veered off to visit Tiefo Temple.

I had planned to spend the day with James and Julia (a fellow member of the English department at my school). I didn’t realize that Julia was bringing her daughter, Fairy, who is too young to attend my school, but whom I tutor every Monday evening. It worked out well–I think Julia was glad that Fairy got some extra English practice, and I was happy to have as many English-speaking companions as possible.

Before we began climbing, Fairy and I posed next to this monument.

Me and James.

My coworkers on the unimaginably long path going straight up the mountain.

Tiefo Temple, from a distance.

The temple gate.

Inside the gate.

Julia and Fairy.

Inside the temple compound the Magnolia trees were blooming, and it smelled wonderful.

These pink flowers were everywhere, as well. My companions and I weren’t able to work out a translation…I suspect the problem was my deficient botanical knowledge.

On the way back down the mountain, we passed these flowers in someone’s yard. They caused quite a stir–apparently, they’re considered very beautiful, but they’re rarely seen, and because they bloom early, they are linked to the Spring Festival. I was ordered to take a picture, because seeing these blossoms early in the lunar year should bring me luck for months and months.

All of this was before lunch. Honestly, half the fun of the day was bumming around the village at the foot of the mountain for 3 hours in the afternoon while we waited for the bus, but those stories will have to wait for another post.

It was a really great day, and I hope I get the chance to go back to Mt. Lu before I leave Jiujiang. We were only in one little village at the base of one little path leading up one peak. There are villages and temples scattered all over the mountain (which is 25km long and 10km wide, with more than 90 peaks). And you can, in fact, take a bus to the top…although I’m not sorry I got to see a piece of it on foot.


4 Responses to “Mt. Lu”

  1. Cynthia March 29, 2011 at 11:26 pm #

    Sounds like a great day! The pink flower is a camillia. They grow in Chile too and are beautiful.

  2. Kathy March 30, 2011 at 4:52 am #

    Auspicious good luck! Keep taking photos, looks and sounds grand!

  3. Tomika March 30, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    This place is beautiful!! I am so so sorry you are fighting being sick 😦 I will send you all the cybersoup I can to fight off any more sickness!! I MISS YOU!!

  4. Jessica April 2, 2011 at 4:56 am #

    Gorgeous photos. Glad you got a chance to see the mountain up close after wondering about it for so long! Ninety peaks – crazy! I like hiking, but a bus ride to the top sounds awfully tempting.

    So have you had any good luck yet?

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