“Spring City, My Ass…”

This past week we had a college friend visit us from the States. You had to feel bad for the poor guy – he thought he was coming to The Spring City (as Kunming has managed to market itself), and instead it dropped to freezing temperatures and even SNOWED, for crying out loud.

Snow outside our window

While the temptation was strong to stay bundled in our apartment and drink all afternoon (for warming purposes, of course!), on Saturday we braved the cold with no winter coats and walked up Xishan – the Western Hills – one of Kunming’s beauties and the place that RP proposed, incidentally.

 

View from the side of Xishan - the Western Hills

Xishan is dotted with temples for thousands of feet up, and is full of little treasures left over from a time when monks went there to pray and meditate. One enterprising holy-man carved winding tunnel in the mountain – and it only took him 14 years!

It was great to get out and be really active in the cold, but man – what a difference a couple months makes. For comparison, below is a photo of me and RP, taken by a friendly Chinese soldier-in-training, just after we got engaged:

Here is the same location not even two months later, with me wearing everything warm I own, namely: a long-sleeved shirt, two sweaters, a jacket, a fleece and a windbreaker:

Nevertheless, if there had been a Friday Love List last week (sorry about that…) Xishan would have been on it. Having a beautiful mountain to climb only a bus ride away from your apartment is a great thing.

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