Psyched for a hike with Ivy around the West Lake area. Looking forward to putting some stress on my legs while taking in some nature and elevated views. I think the plan is to make it to the top of a hill near the lake. Sounds like an adventure and I'm up for it.
We started near the top center of this map. The area is several large hills that give awesome views of West Lake and the city in the background. It had that "let's get lost and find something cool" feeling to the day. We were successful. A lot of uphill and downhill walking. Also passed some cool bamboo forrest sections along the way. Rock and cobble pathways during the entire adventure.
At the top of our first peak we found Chuyang Terrace. The view was very cool, but the city in the back ground was covered by a haze. It's tough to see the skyscrapers in my pictures.
The best part was stumbling into the Baopu Taoist Temple. We ran into it on the way to hit another peak to get a different view of the Lake. I wasn't able to get pictures inside the temple as there were signs letting us know not to take pictures, but inside the temple was super cool. I haven't been blessed with faith, but if I had to pick an ideology Taoist is likely my favorite. My buddy Ted once recommended a book titled "The Tao of Pooh". I was too immature when I first read it. Ripped through it again a few years ago (short read) and have to thank Ted. Life changing ideas in there about living a happy simple life while just being present.
Lots of people there going through their prayer rituals. Lots of people there consulting with elders. Lots burning incense. My favorite part was seeing people light three incense sticks and approach the large sand area. They would take three deep bows with the lit incense pressed to their foreheads at the shrine before carefully putting the incense in the sand. As we were leaving the Taoist Temple Ivy wanted a picture with a young lady dressed in traditional clothing.
The last spot we arrived at was Hema Peak. Probably the best views of the Lake including the long land bridge across West Lake. The tall pagoda there was originally built in 967. Yeah, more than 1250 years ago. It was last rebuilt in 1931. Very cool.
We did dinner at a Thai restaurant. Mango rice with sweet coconut milk and the traditional soup were my favorites.
Also learned about "spring" rolls today. Traditionally eaten on the last day of spring festival, today. So, yeah, had to have some of those as today is the final day of spring festival. It's also known as lantern festival today. As I head home in a taxi fireworks seem to be everywhere. Very cool.