Monday, January 13, 2014

Black Dragon Pool Park

Still following the siren song of the looming mountain, I wound my way through the cobblestone streets of Lijiang until I cam out into a large plaza with a water wheel, hordes of people, and the obligatory Pizza Hut, KFC, and McDonalds that must be present at any point in China where tourists, especially western tourists, might wander.  On the other side of the plaza, I followed the road alongside the creek.  As I went, the buildings thinned out a bit, although the hawkers selling all sorts of souvenirs got thicker. 

Finally I came out to a fancy archway, which led into the Black Dragon Pool Park.  Once inside, I continued to follow the creek along a broad shady path until I came to a small lake, or large pond, I suppose, as is the name of the park.  A little bridge at the edge of the lake is the vantage point of one of the classic Yunnan postcard scenes--the lake in the foreground, the mountain, snowy and majestic, in the background, and a picturesque classic temple building and arched stone bridge where the two come together, and over it all a brilliantly blue sky, far from the smog of the big industrial cities. 

I took pictures of this view from every conceivable angle, and then wandered slowly through the rest of the park.  The shady paths led to various small temples and buildings, one of which was quite pretty, and then to an area more frequented by locals, with a small playground and plenty of benches in the sun around a second smaller pond. 

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