Kimfucius says…Dalian is full of natural treasures! Hiking in China is often a joke (I’ve been told) because any popular trail is promptly paved and made into a massive staircase to the top of the hill/mountain. Not so with Cow’s Back Mountain, where Margaret, our fearless guide Russell and I climbed yesterday. Russell, a Brit, is also an English teacher at DUT, but he teaches at the university’s software campus about an hour and a half away. He’s lived in Dalian for a year or two already, so knows his way around pretty well. He bumped into a Chinese hiking group a few months ago that offered to show him some trails, and he in turn showed us. The trail was only a few bus stops away, which seemed very special given that Dalian, a sprawling Chinese city of 7 million, still has some spaces of natural beauty. We started out walking along a reservoir with lots of gardens growing on the banks.
Then we walked along a trail (mostly) but did our fair share of crawling through thorny bushes and avoiding monster spiders while making our own way up the mountain. It was a beautiful day, in the low 70s, with just the right amount of sunshine. (Can you spot Russell and Margaret?)
As we got further to the top, we had to do some rock climbing, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It also made my heart beat a little faster. (Thanks to Margaret for the awesome action shots!)
It was really awesome to see a bird’s eye view of the city. We could pick out a big building near our apartment, the university campus, as well as numerous other landmarks. (In this picture we aren’t quite at the top yet.)
More rock climbing Kim.Can you tell I’m having fun?
In this picture you can kind of see the two humps which resemble the shoulder blades of a cow (therefore the name Cow’s Back Mountain). You can also see some buildings, and beyond the buildings is the ocean.
After about 3 hours of hiking, we made it back down to the bottom and found a cute little restaurant. Actually, it wasn’t cute on the outside. We saw a sign advertising a restaurant, but as we walked towards it, two large German Shepherds greeted us. There were also a bunch of fancy looking black cars with tinted windows. It kind of gave us the creeps, as this seemed like this was a place where people come to make shady business deals…But our stomachs decided it was best to give it a try. It wasn’t the most comfortable meal (sitting on a pillow at a low table), but I was hungry so the food tasted amazing. All in all, another great day in Dalian.