Monday, October 12, 2009

Longqing Gorge

We drove up to Longqing Gorge this weekend with my mom, who is in town again (a girl can never buy too many pearls, you know). We rode up a gigantic dragon-shaped escalator that appeared to be screwed into the side of the mountain with some old bolts. Half way up this tremendously long escalator, Aidan asked "how are we going to get down?" Which would have been a fabulous thing to ask ourselves before we stepped onto the escalator. But okay.

At the top of the escalator, you exit into a dimly lit tunnel, which begs the question: which part of the dragon are you supposed to be in now? Then, suddenly, you're on top of a dam, where you part with loads of cash in order to hop on a boat. But not just any old boat - you have to take the last one, which is tied to ten others. So you hop from boat to boat until you get to the last one. No time to stop and help your sainted mother across, as you're too busy carrying babies and watching your sons jump ahead. At this point, your mother will likely be thinking "I could be pearl shopping right now, but instead I'm about to drown in some crazy gorge noone's ever heard of because I missed a step and fell off one of these darn boats, and no one even noticed."

The boat ride was really quite pretty. We snapped some photos, below. At the end of the ride, we had a choice: pay more money to go further up the mountain on an open-air gondola (full disclosure: I'm scared of heights) or pay more money to go down the toboggan run. So, yes, we put my senior citizen mother on a toboggan and pushed her down the hill. At this point, she likely wasn't thinking of pearls anymore: she was probably thinking about her other kids, and how she always liked them better than me, and now she knew why.

But none of us plummeted to our deaths. Not even me, who was riding my toboggan with one hand on the brake and one arm around the baby. I couldn't work up too much speed - I only realized halfway down that my bag had gotten lodged under the wheel, slowing me down.

But no matter: tomorrow we'll be going pearl shopping at last, and I can always buy a new bag.

Enjoy the photos...


hannah said... [Reply]

What is the obsession in China with descending things on toboggans? I descended the Great Wall on one, and it was not a whole lot of fun in an impending snowstorm.

Ambrose said... [Reply]

That looks awesome. It's now on our list of things to do!

Connie said... [Reply]

Beautiful... somewhat insane, but beautiful! Sounds like China needs a version of the Egyptian t-shirt (actually it's a motto applied to the local beer) "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." :)

momcat said... [Reply]

I had a vision of when I went down a slide at the water park through a dark tunnel and in trying to keep him safe, I nearly drowned myself! Never again. The whole outing sounds fun but only when the kids are big enough to get themselves down.

Please. Write your own stuff.