Saturday, May 12, 2018

Saturday May 12th 2018

The next day, my plans were to visit Tianmen Mountain. To get there I first had to go by taxi to Zhangjiajie to take a cable car.

This cable car is one of the longest passenger cable cars in the world. It's 7,2 km long and is up to 1200 meters above ground.

Not that I saw any of this - or the (most likely) wonderful view.
Because it was cloudy today as well. :(

Once at the top, I walked on the narrow ledges around the mountain top.
Just like yesterday, the clouds made sure you could not see how high up you really were. Probably a good thing.

Even though most of the view was obstructed by clouds, seeing the nearby mountain top peak up through the clouds was beautiful.

We walked on ledges, walkways and even bridges-ish like this to get close to Heaven's Gate (aka Tianmen Cave).

And meanwhile the view was very nice (even though I was growing very tired of the clouds and wanted to see the whole mountains).

They also had two walkways around parts of the mountain which were made of - you guessed it - glass.
They are called skywalks and cost extra (ticket booths close to the entrance of each walkway).

Both the side and the floor was made of glass and there was NO WAY I was going on either one of them.
There were also only one direction to walk on them so once you onto one, you had to walk the full length.

I walked (on the normal walkways) to this peak which I am sure offers a beautiful view - but all I got to see was more clouds.

On the way there you could look down and see the Heaven's gate:

No clouds at the gate at least!

The Heaven's gate is similar to The First Bridge I (almost) saw yesterday.
The mountain had collapsed so there was a hole through the mountain side.

The exploitation of this mountain was also very apparent.
If not for the sky walks, kiosks and other buildings so how about this:
They had built an ESCALATOR through the mountain to get you down to Heaven's Gate.

At the actual Heaven's Gate, I was met by another disappointment. The clouds were back!

It looked so good from above, but now it's just cloudy again.
I could barely see the cave (it's the brighter fog surrounded by darker fog)

My original plan was to walk up the stairs (called Stairway to Heaven   >.<  ), but since I was at top already, I walked down instead.

And if you do not feel like walking - there was another escalator which took you down to the base of the stairs!

There were lots of steps! But finally I got there and - kinda - took another photo of the stairway and the gate:

After this, I took the bus down the 99 Bends - a narrow road down the mountain side with 99 bends. I have seen pictures of it and it looked amazing and scary at the same time.
But I saw only clouds while going from side to side (from the road turns) in the bus.  :(

Once I got down again and back to the cable car station, I went back to Wulingyuan by taxi.

Since the weather looked was now (mostly because it was now mid-day and the sun was up for real), I decided to make another attempt at the park I visited yesterday morning. Hopefully I would see more this time..

And did I ever!
Already at the base of the Bailong Elevator, I knew I would finally get to see the reasons I got here in the first place!

I could even see the elevator from the outside!

At the top again and... yes! Still no clouds!

It was hot as hell though, but the view was spectacular!

And now people sat on the Avatar-Bird-thing again!

Here is the famous Avatar mountain top (aka Hallelujah Mountain).

It was so beautiful up here when you could actually see something!

And here is a picture of the First Bridge - without clouds!

Also, now I could see how high up I was - and the minimal safety the ledges held.

In these mountains there are also monkeys.
I did not see any yesterday, but today there were plenty.

And, as most monkeys do in tourist areas, they snatched food from people walking by.

It was fascinating to see them jump from one mountain top to another using the trees several hundred meters from the valley ground.

After this it was time to return to the hotel, time to move on tomorrow.

After a disappointing start of both days, they both turned out pretty good!

And I leave you with a picture I took the morning after (Sunday).
Of course the weather was perfect so I could even see Heaven's Gate from the airport...

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