Sunday, April 17, 2011

China Post #5 UFO Hill

This weekend we headed to the appropriately named UFO hill on Saturday and Big Black Mountain (Dai....shan) on Sunday. UFO hill is really close to where we are staying and is not much of an outdoor experience, but it did still make for a nice half day out. We took a taxi to the base since we really did not know where it was. Turns out it is really close. Anyway, when we got out there were several street vendors selling kites and balloons.
There was this huge monument at the base of the road up and you can see the UFO in the distance.
With all the kites for sale, low on the "hill" there was a nice park with lots of people out flying or just hanging out in the nice weather.
Only a few 100 meters up the road there was this odd ball shaped enclosure off to the right. So we headed over to check it out. Turns out to be a pigeon ball? and up the trail from that is a sculpted stream bed with large "Alice in Wonderland" type sculptures like this corn.
After we made our way through the stream bed we came out at a pretty big reservoir, though I doubt that that is what it was for. Through this section there were several sculpted walls that had Linda and I wondering if we would get stopped for trying to boulder on them...

A steep trail lead up from the reservoir back to the road and this plank side walk along it. As you can tell safety is a top priority here. There were several sections where multiple pieces of decking were missing and even spots where you could tell that the support joist had dropped out.
To their credit though, further up they were working on repairing the side walk and converting it to rebar and concrete which can't rot out from under people. Though there were no barriers to keep people off or out of the work area which seems fine to me except for the fact that at times you might need to dodge traffic on the road.
Here are Linda and Dylan walking up the final steps to the UFO.
The UFO is really just a nice high spot to look out around Dalian. It of course cost money to go up into the UFO itself, though it is not expensive and it was nice to get out of the wind which was picking up as we got higher up the "hill". Dylan made the hike all the way up on his own but was pretty beat, so instead of carrying him down we opted to take the little shuttle. Here is a quick video of the shuttle ride, and for reference it was less crowded on the way down than when we were headed up.
video
Well it is almost midnight on Sunday so I'll get to posting on Big Black Mountain tomorrow hopefully. It is a beautiful hike and a must do.

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