zhangjiajie22It’s taken me a while to sort this article out as I struggled with some of the names and places!
Anyway, I’ve got it now!
The morning after the wonderful Fox Fairy Show
www.tianmenfox.com (which you can also read about in my article, China’s Hunan Province,) we visited the Yuanjiajie National Park. There, we got out of our minibus and onto buses in the National Park, where we rode around the mountain bends and then queued to catch a small cable car to take us up the Tianzi Mountain.
We were the only foreigners there, and I was the only British woman. I was openly stared at by everyone!
The long queue kept getting longer because people would keep leaping over the barriers and pushing to the front of the queue, and nobody seemed to mind except us!
In the end our guides spoke to someone and after a lot of discussion, they marched us up the hill to the next level, where we caught the cable car a lot easier!
zhangjiajie08At the top, we walked around the edge of the mountain and admired the scenery.
Even the light in China is different. It’s beautiful, slightly misty, and so unique!
We thought our guide had been having a laugh, but she hadn’t. We ate in McDonald’s. At the top of a Chinese mountain!
Apparently it was the only restaurant licensed, where we could eat. And I must admit, it was the best McDonald’s I’ve ever had! If only they had that menu in the UK!
Sadly, it had no loos, so we had to walk some way and then queue in the public loo.
More about that later.
I enjoyed browsing round the stalls there, and bought a bracelet which I thought was very cheap, but for some reason our guide found it funny!
We caught another bus, where a Chinaman kept trying to hold my hand and got our guide to translate. He loudly told me that I had a beautiful nose!
Hurray for wet-wipes, the traveller’s salvation!
zhangjiajie27Yuanjiajie Mountain may not sound familiar to you, but it will look familiar when you see the photos. The surrounding mountains were used in the film Avatar.
I must give the Chinese credit. They’re avid sightseers in their own Country. There were hundreds of them everywhere we went.
We shuffled along with the crowds and waited patiently while they took each other’s photo.
Oh the scenery though! They’re not really mountains. They’re more like phallic splinters, forced out of the ground millions of years ago, and solidifying while the rest of the molten rock collapsed again. It’s unique. I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere else in the world.
I came to a bridge with an open grille floor.
Those of you who have read my articles will know that I’m not really scared of anything, but I need to adjust to some things.
While I was hesitating, a lady grabbed hold of my wrist and dragged me across the bridge, shouting at everyone to get out of the way!
zhangjiajie18Everyone obliged, and found it very funny.
She dumped me at the other side and went back across the bridge.
The weather was hot and humid. I had shorts and a top on.
We sat waiting for stragglers, and I suddenly noticed a man parading past, then another one sitting staring at me. And another. And another. They weren’t leering. They were acting coyly, like lovesick teenagers.
I felt like Madonna!
There were guides and groups everywhere. The guides wore radio mikes and the sounds blared out all around us. Rather hard to put up with for long.
A group of students, who spoke some English, politely asked if they could have their photos taken with me.
At last we all assembled and went to catch our bus back to the cable car.
There was a beautiful sunset and the temperature was dropping, but we were tired and not amused as the queue in front of us got longer and longer.
Our guides shouted and waved their arms about and made lots of phone calls, but it didn’t make any difference. We queued and queued, and finally clambered on board.
zhangjiajie05At the bottom, we queued again for the famous glass lift, opened just a few years ago.
Again it was a scrabble. But worth the wait to see the view.
At 1400 mts high, it’s the longest lift in the world. It dropped 326m in 1 minute, 58 seconds.
It was amazing to have a different view of the pointed peaks, looking up at them now.
Finally we went to catch our bus back down the mountain.
Now I know that the driver does that trip many times in a day, but I can’t help thinking that one day he’s going to overshoot a bend and the bus full of tourists is going to end up at the bottom of the mountain!
Scared? Let’s say that we were all glad when we reached the bottom.
We collapsed in our minibus, relieved to be sitting down with the air conditioning on.
On the journey back, we passed a man raking his rice on the ground beside the road while his children rode their bikes over it.
Back at the hotel, it was a relief to have a loo that I could sit on instead of a hole in the ground!
Dinner was excellent. There was a buffet with a huge choice, and we all started with the noodle soup, which we all loved. zhangjiajie03Then after a couple of beers, we staggered up to bed. We had an early start and a long day tomorrow.

China National tourist Office,
71 Warwick Road.
London.
SW5 9HB

Tel 0044 0207 575 0888
Fax 0044 0207 370 9989
Website: www.cnto.org.uk

About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.