I lived in various big cities. As much as I love hiking and being outdoors, as thrilled I am to live in huge cities. Beijing stands on its own: 25 million people, ever-growing, inconceivably big. Enough playground to explore. But by living and working in a city, I find it quite hard to do things tourists would do when visiting Beijing.
But with my partner having visited me in Beijing it was the perfect opportunity to check out and explore the city together. So the next couple of posts will be dedicated to the city I’m calling home at the moment!
As we are hikers it is not surprising that one of our first trips actually brought us away from the city. I have been out to the West Mountains once before, but at that time the Xiangshan Park 香山 was packed with over 82 000 people. That time we went on a work day and still we weren’t alone on that mountain. Fortunately there are different routes up the hill and several routes on the ridges of the range. So we were traversing the mountains a bit. Sounds like an awesome hiking experience? Well, hiking is something that hasn’t get to China …. yet (I guess). The trails are concrete paths and climbing that hill by proper steps and stairs is far from a wilderness experience. But we enjoyed being outdoors, marvelled a bit on the very last leaves that were not yet blown away by the autumn winds and we were convincing ourselves that the grey cloud Beijing was hiding in was actually fog and not air pollution.
After some time the icy wind blowing in from the north was chasing us down from the mountain.