The Fushan Ascent

Note: To any mildly interested reader, this post was intended to be uploaded the beginning of October. Due to some technological issues, I wasn’t able to post it until now. My apologies.

The Mid-Autumn Festival may have just finished, but I’m sure my mooncakes will be residing in their decorative cardboard box for a much longer time. Maybe someday my palate will adjust to their highly unpredictable flavors. This past week was a celebration of two holidays, the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day. Hence a free week for all students, teachers, and the general working populace. Unfortunately that also translates into massive gridlocks in most cities, transportation stations overflowing with people, and all the major tourist sites visited by hordes of people. Such is life in China.

Toward the end of the holiday, I decided to climb Fushan with some friends and then watch a soccer game later that day. After the 90-minute bus ride into Qingdao, we hopped off the bus and waited for a transfer bus to Qingdao University, which was at the base of the mountain. After about another hour of bus transit, we arrived at the university and met two other Chinese friends, John and Linda. Since Fushan was slightly over 1,000 feet, it was not a very grueling climb. Nevertheless, with seven distinct peaks, it offered its own set of challenges. At the first peak, we found a flat section on the rock and shared our bountiful goods for lunch – oranges, apples, grapes, chocolate bars, and some wafers. After the nourishing lunch, we were ready to tackle the remaining peaks. At one peak, we left the dirt trail and scrambled over rocks until we reached the top. The vista was breathtaking – most of Qingdao could be seen hugging all sides of the mountain, further out were strips of beachfront, and then the limitless expanse of the ocean. Beyond the peaks of Fushan, you could see parts of Laoshan shrouded in fog. As we absorbed the raw beauty, a light, refreshing breeze cooled our skin from the sun’s intensity. Needless to say, it was a wonderful moment.

Looking ahead to the rest of the peaks, the fifth one seemed to be the tallest and most challenging climb. Once we reached it, it seemed unscaleable until we walked around the back and discovered a fissure that went almost halfway to the top. John, the mountain man, led the way, and I tentatively followed. After we past the halfway point, we had to climb up the rock face and avoid several hundred-foot drops along the way. I think next time I’ll consider wearing hiking boots, but this time, my worn tennis shoes past the test. Once we had conquered the peak, John and I celebrated with some mandarin oranges and chocolate bars. We may have only scaled a thousand-foot mountain, but it felt like we had just climbed Mt. Everest. After once again absorbing the majestic beauty around us, we descended the fifth peak. Eventually, after following a winding, rocky forest trail, we reached civilization. Our rumbling stomachs confirmed to us that dinner was next.

We stopped at a small restaurant near the sports stadium where the game would start in less than an hour. After scarfing down some jiaozi (dumplings), wonton soup, fried chicken, and fried rice, we rushed to the stadium where the cheers of the fans greeted us. Once the security guards guaranteed we were not planning to blow up the stadium or do any other mischievous things, we went into the stadium. Inside there were several thousand fans with a strong Qingdao contingent. Many of them were dressed in orange jerseys and chanting something in sync with several drums. A few of the fans were waving flags. One bare-chested man with a rotund beer-belly seemed especially eager to wave his Qingdao flag. Although the teams weren’t that impressive, the fan’s reaction to a Qingdao goal was quite enthusiastic. Most of the stadium erupted into a roar, and several people lit these massive sparklers that emitted fiery, red sparks and engulfed sections of the stadium in smoke. Frankly, I was glad that I wasn’t sitting next to the sparkler guys, or else I would have been afraid of my hair catching on fire or third-degree burns to my body. Thankfully, no one was injured, and after the red glare lessened, I could watch the game again.

Unfortunately, some of us had to leave early for Huangdao. But at least we were able to see an exciting soccer match at the Qingdao Stadium. After having climbed a mountain and watched a soccer game, I was thankful to make it back home without any broken bones or singed hair. What would life be in China without some element of danger?

This entry was posted in Travel.

25 thoughts on “The Fushan Ascent”

  1. Excеllent аrtіcle. Keep pοsting ѕuсh kind
    of information on your ѕite. Ιm rеallу іmρгessed bby yοur blog.

    Hі there, You havе performed an exсellent ϳob.
    І’ll definitely digg іt and in mу ѵiew гecommend to
    my friends. I’m сοnfіԁent they will be benefited from this ωebsite.

    Feel free to surf to my ωebρage: fence cоmpаnу ft ωoгth (Henry)

  2. I am sure this post has touched all the internet visitors,
    its really really good piece of writing on building up new

  3. I do not even understand how I stopped up right here, however I thought this put up was once good.
    I do not recognise who you’re but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger in the event
    you aren’t already. Cheers!

  4. I tɦink this is among the moѕt important information fօr me.
    And i’m glaԁ readiոg your artіcle. But wanna remark on few general things, The site style is wonderful, the аrticlеs
    іs гeallly nice : D. Good job, cheers

    My web pаge …

  5. I do consider all of the concepts you’ve presented in
    your post. They are really convincing and can certainly work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for novices.

    Could you please prolong them a bit from next time?
    Thanks for the post.

  6. I am sure this article has touched all the internet visitors, its really
    really fastidious paragraph on building up new blog.

  7. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what
    all is required to get set up? I’m assuming
    having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web
    savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

  8. Wonderful blog you have here but I was curious if you
    knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about here?

    I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get responses from other
    experienced individuals that share the same interest.

    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Bless you!

    my web blog ::

  9. Howdy! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a
    quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your articles.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?
    Thank you!

  10. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in reality was
    a entertainment account it. Glance complicated to more delivered agreeable from you!
    By the way, how can we keep in touch?

  11. Howdy would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working with?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster
    then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a fair price?
    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.