Gele mountain Trip – 歌乐山

Gele shan in Chongqing

Meeting time was at 9:30 at Shapingba metro station (Nowadays you can already take metro directly to Leishimu station, which will get you close to the gates of SISU).

From Shapingba we changed to bus number 210 and drove 5 stations directly in front of the gate of SIUS university. Station name chuanwai ().

Audrey picked us up at the gate and we followed her to the base of Gele mountain. Still inside of the campus, right next to a training ground. Even the dormitories are on the same ground where former POW camp was located.

First stop on our visit is the former prison of CRA officer Ye Ting, now called the Martyrs’ Memorial or if you want the Baigong guan. Admission is for free(or 30RMB depends if you are a student) and you can roam around the former POW grounds freely, bring your own food and simply have a picnic inside the compound. The whole area is relatively large, but we are visiting just the most important building accessible from SISU campus. Having our first, but not last, snack and turning back to a side track that will lead us to the Gele mountain peak. More about Martyrs’ Memorial.

The climb was steep and we got tired quickly. Chongqings humidy never falling under 70% was taking its toll on us and we were sweating and pounding as ascending to what seemed a never-ending set of steps. As we climbed, the sky darkened more and more and eventually rain drops occurred. It was not strong, but annoying. Girls were afraid to get too wet and tried to convince me to turn back. “Not an option. We are going to make it to the top today.”

On the way my new 600D camera records faces, moods and achievements of our little group. I must say the 50mm lens is great for making portraits. Comparing to my former Nikon coolpix…well you can not compare Skoda with Aston Martin, can you? Though portraits are beautiful and in great quality, the landscape can not be captured at all. One of my first walks with such an equipment and I already see the drawbacks also. Heavy, large and not easily to store camera that gives you opportunity to make great pictures under given circumstances. As I like capturing also the nature and landscape a different lense would be a better choice.

Second stop, the base camp and entrance to Gele mountain park. On the same level where cable cabin up the mountain stops is restaurant. There we hid from the rain, as it was getting heavier and heavier. Admission to the park is 10 RMB. You can try climbing wall in there, sit down in a pleasant tea house or get to go carts.
But to the peak is still few hundred meters away. We decided to wait for couple of minutes to see if the rain stops. It did and we could once again set to the last stage of our climb. It was a holiday and people in here are always enjoing their time out, when they ca. Any national holiday in China is a little celebration. Everywhere is a lot of people. Trains and buses are packed. Roads congested. And most shops offer discounts.
The peak is marked by a stone and statue and details about the origin and history of Gele mountain carved in it. You can not see much of a landscape because all the vegetation around, though Our last stop was marked by snacks, photos and extraordinary puddle that did not want to leave our group. His master had to eventually carry it away. Something is telling me, the snacks and dried meet was the reason:-)

On the way back we enjoyed the beautiful landscape (well if the weather is the landscape must be beautiful) while descending in the cable car cabin. All the area of Shapingba is stretching under the mountain for you, giving you one of the spectacular views of Chongqing one can see only from the surrounding mountains. Talking about the cable car – it is adventure by itself to hop-on and hop-off it.
Our Labour day trip and Gele mountain hike was concluded by a traditional HOT-POT in restaurant near Leishimu station.

Challenging hike, beautiful views and plenty of amusement…all of that can be found on Gele mountain in Chongqing. Hope to come back one day. It is a really nice place to hang out.