The room never seemed to cool down, or maybe I was just running a fever. We were surprised to wake up and see such a nice view from 18th floor of the hills jutting up through the city. We had the buffet breakfast but it was not great. Hot and cold white stuff to drink, some sort of egg soufflé , ‘make your own’ noodles soup, and sesame seed rolls.
We got a map from front desk and started to walk toward the river and the downtown tourist area. It didn’t look far on the map, but it turned out to be quite a hike. It would have been easier had it not been that every store front was being remodeled and the sidewalks were a maze of scaffolding and construction material. Eventually, and after numerous consultations with the map and guide book, we found ourselves at the first point of interest.
For 150 RNB each we got tickets to 5 places that were valid for 5 days. 1st we went to the Folded Brocade Hill (diecai Shan). There we climbed up to the Wind Cave, it was more of a tunnel actually, with walls decorated with Chinese inscriptions and Buddhist sculptures. From the other end of the tunnel we enjoyed a great view of the city. We also visited a bird park that covered part of the hill. From there we walked on to Fubo Shan (Wave-Subduing Hill). This hill was right on the river and sported a lot of Buddha images. A 1000-year old Buddha is etched into the cave wall. Once again there were great views if you had the legs to climb up to the top. Thankfully, at the top there were fans with misters so you could cool off while you caught your breath.
The Star cave
We took a break around 12:30 and had some lunch .
We tried to ask for NO MSG but we assume that it was a futile request, like asking for air without oxygen. It seemed we spent much of this holiday in an MSG induced fog. After lunch we walked down the river side walkway to the star attraction of the day, the 7 Hills Park. This was a large park with a spectacular cave. We showed then our 5 in 1 ticket and gained access to the park and to the cave as well. The cave was impressive and well prepared to receive masses of tourists. We discovered that the tour guides controlled the lights inside the cave. When we lagged too far behind the largish group in front of us we found ourselves somewhat in the dark. We learned to not let them get to far ahead as there was no sign of another group behind us. At one point we were surprised when we heard the guide start singing a Chinese song followed by cheers and applause from her group. When we got to that spot in the cave we read that it was called “the stage” for it’s “excellent” acoustics.
Card play in the 7 hills park
This is where we first saw Fern, a lady that we would meet in our near future. We also overheard Spanish spoken and saw an Ecuadorian guy who we would also later meet. After the cave, we meandered through the park, visiting the sad zoo and the pretty areas. We enjoyed watching the old men playing card games with cards shaped like lady fingers.
We left the park and continued on toward the next destination ��" Elephant hill. On the way we passed some tourist agencies, so we stopped and made arrangements to take a boat down the Li river to Yangzhou, and to spend a couple of nights there.
Elephant hill was another park on the river. The hill has a tunnel through it that makes it look like an elephant s trunk. We were completely worn out and did not climb the hill. We were content to walk around it and to just enjoy the view.
We took a taxi back to the hotel.