13 September 2009

Fengdu, the ghost city

Our final shore trip on the Yangtze cruise was to Fengdu, the ghost city, so called because legend has it that all dead people go there. As with most other trips on this holiday, there was a lot of climbing involved with many spectacular things to see on the way.



Also becoming familiar were the traditional style buildings and the luscious and well-kept gardens. The buildings include an assortment of temples, usually with Buddhist icons and statues.

But there are daemons too!

Not only is this guy pretty fierce looking but if you look carefully you can see that he is chewing on a hand.

Figures like this adorn the route up the hill to remind you to be good in this life.

There are also a few tests to perform to prove your goodness, luckily none of these were too challenging.

First we had to cross a short but steep bridge in an specific number of steps and couples had to do this hand-in-hand. And before entering the temple at the top of the hill we each had to balance on a metal ball for a few seconds.

We all passed and entered the temple with relief.

On the way back down we were given some clue has to what might have befallen us if we had failed the tests!

A grizzly and imaginative montage depicted various scenes of torture that not even Frank Miller would put into one of his lurid (but excellent) Sin City comics.

I selected a picture of a man being sawn in half but the other images were just as bad. A deterrent indeed.

After that it was the walk back down the hill, past the ubiquitous shops for tourists and back to the boat for our final night of cruising. The next day we would wake up in ChongQing.

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