For the weekend we took a short trip to Nanjing, China. We were originally supposed to move to Nanjing to teach, but ended up moving to Suzhou. Before coming to China we had a bucket list of places we wanted to see in Nanjing; and one of them was the Purple Mountain. We planned on spending only a few hours here but ending up being there for 8+ hours. There is so much to see here and all of it is so beautiful! So... a lot of photos in this post ;)
Every park/tomb/museum/mausoleum/garden in China has a fee. We didn't do too much research on what to see on the Purple Mountain so when we went we were just winging it. I was selective about what part of the mountain I wanted to enter because of the prices, but we lucked out. We splurged to see the Ming tomb (the tomb of the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty) and it led us to a section of the park that was really beautiful.
We walked around the tomb for a while, but what we really wanted to see was a lake on the mountain. After a few random trails we found the lake. There were quite a few people walking around the lake but there was no one at this bridge. We're experts at the self timer, ha.
We sat at this bridge for about 30 minutes to rest feet and snapped instax photos. I've taken so many in China, I wish I had a scanner! I really wanted to hike to the top of the mountain, but we couldn't find a paved trail (which is how all trails are here). We found a steep steep dirt trail and started hiking up for what felt like forever.
It was a really special moment when we saw the view from the top. The view was amazing and we realized how high we actually hiked. But then we noticed if we climbed even farther up the mountain we could take a ski lift down. We've realized that the only moments we'll regret are the things we don't do... so we started hiking again (this motto might be the death of me!).
We made it to the top again and stumbled across this buddha by total chance. The only thing I really wanted to see on the Purple Mountain was this Buddha, but every time I asked where it was no one knew. I think it was a reward for what we had put ourselves through getting to the top of the mountain.
We also came across a spa overlooking the city where fish eat the dead skin off of your feet. If not now when, right? The feeling of fish sucking on your skin is so weird but I'm glad I've experienced it. It turns out the spa had opened only 2 hours earlier and we were their first customers. Woohoo!
We totally forgot about the time when we were at the "spa" and didn't realize that the ticket office had closed to get our tickets back down. Luckily, they made an exeption and gave us the last tickets. We took the lift down the mountain and watched the sunset as we talked and laughed about how awesome that day was. Our weekend in Nanjing couldn't have been more perfect!