Chengdu: Qingcheng Mountain and Dujiangyan Irrigation System
(Written by Ms. Sessions) This morning we met at the campus of the junior CDEFLS. Due to the high number of cars in the city, each day of the week has a group of cars, determined by the terminal digit of the license plate, that can’t drive in the city. Today’s restricted digit is 8 and our trusty Bread Loaf bus has a license plate ending in 8. Not to worry, these restricted vehicles can drive in the suburbs, just not in the city center. So, it was out to the ‘burbs for this morning’s gathering.
Some students reported that they had some laundry done by their gracious hosts and some reported that they had packed a little! We have said it before, but this group is an exceptionally great group of students. They are attentive, kind, and curious. They are also hilarious, which we appreciate very much.
It was about an hour drive to Qingcheng Mountain. This mountain is a key place in Taoism. The bright students knew right away it was a Taoist place based on the natural beauty, meandering paths, and numerous Yin Yang symbols throughout.
We were, once again, exposed to all the natural beauty including a steady rain (sorry for the lack of pictures today! I was trying hard to not soak my camera). After purchasing some sweet plastic ponchos, we hiked in the natural wonderland for a couple of hours. We also got to take another boat ride on a cool cable boat.
In spite of the rain, we very much enjoyed the time in nature. Qingcheng Mountain is said to be a very healing place and that was felt by the group for sure.
Dujianyan Irrigation System
Next, we headed off to the Dujianyan Irrigation System. This system is an incredibly complex water filtering/processing/moving innovation from the Zhou Dynasty (~2000 years old!). The ancient technology is amazing and effective. The waters are clear and blue and it is easy to see (in theory) how the filtration system works. The system also served to prevent flooding and move the water to the places in the Chengdu plain that needed it most. Happily, the skies cleared a little throughout our time there and we were able to admire the landscape a little more.
Of course, after such a full day, everyone was hungry. Our friends at the CDEFLS hosted a lovely Sichuanese dinner for us, our students, and the student hosts at a local restaurant. Gifts and kind words were exchanged and everyone had his or her fill.
It’s an early morning for us tomorrow, so for now I will bid you adieu. Next time you hear from us, we will be Stateside.