This was a special teambuilding trip for the employees of the Swedish Embassy in Beijing. Every year we help them choose a good spot for a great hike that has options for faster hikers as well as those who'd like a more relaxed outing.
This year we went to the Taoist temples at Yajishan, a scenic spot where steep stairs ascend to the two temples at the top, passing smaller temples and shrines on the way.
We began the day just outside the embassy, where we all met up before boarding the bus. And after a not-too-long ride, everyone was ready to get going.
We started at Xiaoyun Temple, the first temple on the trail, climbing a short stretch of stairs to Dongyue Temple, where we learned a Taoist greeting.
From Dongyue Temple we made the big climb all the way to Bixiayuanjun Temple, right at the peak of Yajishan – quite a climb! On the way to the top we stopped to look about the other temples and shrines, where we saw statues, murals, and friezes that depict parts of the belief and practice of Taoism.
After a break at the highest point the hiking group split in two, with one group taking a shorter and easier walk down a valley beside the mountain, and the other group taking a longer trail through the hills behind the temples.
Both trails finished at the same place – one of our favourite countryside restaurants. And there we found a delicious feast of country-style cooking, just what was needed after a good day out walking.
Hope you enjoyed the trip, Swedish Embassy!