Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Zhang Jia Jie, Hunan, China

Zhang Jia Jie was China's first national park. While many others have since joined the ranks, Zhang Jia Jie remains one of the country's most noted scenic spots.

Situated outside of the city by the same name (a mere small town by China standards, with its 1 million inhabitants), the mountains of the national park create a sort of magical atmosphere. The mountains rise up out of the ground, thin as fingers reaching towards the heavens. They never quite grasp the sky above, though from the ground it appears they have a very good chance.

Falling just short of the sky, it seems the fingers do manage to plunge themselves into the clouds often enough. Perhaps that is the lower level of the heavens for which they reach. One way or another, the clouds often cover the tops of the mountains, hiding the views to be had from their peaks. The winds are strong enough and frequent enough, though, to blow the clouds away for a few moments at a time, giving the hiker a clear, if brief, view of the vast range of the mountains. They stretch out for miles, breaking up the land that lies before the eyes. It seems to me that these brief views are the way to see Zhang Jia Jie, adding to the mystique of the place. I wouldn't exchange my misty holiday for one with clearer weather. The continued veiling and unveiling of the grandeur that lives there is the perfect way to see the place.

Showintale Journeys

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