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ZhangJiaJie – Day 4

08.19.09
MT. TIANMEN
TU JIA FOLK EXHIBITION

Day 4 started with a long gondola ride. They say it’s the world’s longest gondola lift at 7.4km (4.59miles) long. Well, technically it is split into two lines. (Currently the world’s longest single stage gondola is near Hub’s home: Silver Mountain gondola at 4.9km.) The gondola ride took 31 minutes and at times we were quite high above the valley. Wear a blindfold if you’re afraid of heights.

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We’re on our way!

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By the way,  you can actually drive halfway up the mountain… but there are a few curves. 99 bends to be specific.

The gondola ride ended at the top of Mt.Tianmen whereupon we took a 4 hour hike around the rim. The weather was nice. The breeze was cool. The trail was basically empty.

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Bliss.

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The heights were amazing. Sandra would often remark that the heights made her “liver quiver.”

At one point, there was a glass-bottomed platform that stuck out in mid-air thousands of feet above the valley bottom. Hubs himself even felt a little rush of adrenaline walking out to the edge.

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Those tree-tops you see below Hub’s feet are way, WAY down there.

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Schäfer joins Hubs on his sky-walk.

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OK, that’s nice, Hubs. Come on back now!

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The cliff-side walkway was pretty harrowing!

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Now, it’s time to enjoy the 31 minute ride down.

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There is a local legend that an airplane flew through the hole in this mountain. We saw a few photos of this event, but they all looked a bit photo-shopped.

That afternoon, we took a taxi to the Tujia minority village exhibition (土家风景园) which has an amazing display of the Tujia minority architecture and culture. Hubs very much enjoyed it!

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A Tujia village made of traditional wood.

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Schäfer decides to join in the performance with the Tu Jia minority ladies.

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Schäfer and Hubs taking a spin with a miller.

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This is a kitchen inside one of the houses. This is the fire pit where food is cooked.

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A front porch.

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A 12 story Tujia mansion made completely of wood.

Afterward, we went back into town and had dinner at a local restaurant. Sandra took Schäfer back to the hotel while Hubs went to secure tickets to our next destination: Fenghuang.

Hubs first went to the long-distance bus station – where the tickets for the next day were sold out – then he took a taxi to the train station where he bought two tickets to Jishou. From Jishou, we’ll catch one of the many buses to Fenghuang.

On his way back to the hotel, Hubs picked up some popsicles. After all, we’re on vacation! Schäfer ate his in the shower (talk about easy clean up!) and was actually in bed at 7:49pm! Wow!

1 comment to ZhangJiaJie – Day 4

  • Shelley

    That is a BEAUTIFUL place. I love the cliff-side walkway photo! Puts it in perspective, but I’m sure, not really! It’s probably so much bigger than we can imagine. But that photo helps! It’s just beautiful.

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