FuShan is the mountain located directly behind the apartment complex where we live. From our bedroom, we can see parts of the mountain, and on any given day we see the mountain as we move around Qingdao. We have been wanting to hike this mountain since we arrived here. Since there was a national holiday this week, Justin had three days off in a row, and we were set on using one of those days to hike FuShan. This mountain is a popular hiking alternative to LaoShan as it is closer to the city. Huge boulders, meadows, natural trails, and pine trees make FuShan a desirable destination for outdoor enthusiasts, like us!
FuShan is about 5 km long and 2 km wide. The main peak is the highest in Qingdao at approximately 384 meters, but we had no idea which peak we would end up on. We saw no (English) signs, so our plan was to keep going up and up until we reached one of the peaks.
To get to the paths leading to the mountain, we simply need to exit our complex, cross a road, and then start walking up the mountain. Really – It’s that simple! This is a dream come true for the outdoor/ adventure-lovers that we are. Hiking right in our “backyard”!!
We stopped at a corner shop and bought a few bottles of water for the hike. We had already packed a meal and snacks, and even though the hike to the top was less than a hour, we looked forward to sitting down somewhere and having a picnic for lunch.
Beautiful colours everywhere!
We walked along a steep paved road for about 20 minutes, and even though it was tough on the lungs, we kept wondering “Where does the real hike begin?” We had no idea how much more vertical the trail was about to get, just shortly after the abandoned booth above.
Up up up we go!
As we neared the summit, we were able to see around the other side of the mountain.
The beautiful ocean view!
Justin had a good laugh at my clumsy climbing. I am useless at slippery gravel. I tend to just freeze up and start sliding backwards. Of course, the worst part of this was knowing that going down this path would be even more difficult!
Vines growing over the boulders.
We were excited to find the cave that cut through FuShan. We had been warned that some of them were long and dark, so flashlights were needed. Although we were prepared, I was not eager to venture into too many dark caves. This is does not sound appealing to us at all ~ Creepy!
Excited/ nervous faces
Stone look out post and reinforced entrance way
Qingdao used to be a German colony at the end of the 19th century. During this time, the Germans were looking for ways to defend this crucial port city against attacks from the British Pacific fleet, so they built a range of harbour walls and coastal defences, but their most extravagant plan was to transform this mountain into a weapon!
We found numerous tunnels as we hiked up the mountain. Some of them we could see right through, so we ventured on it, but the ones that led into darkness… well, I’m too chicken to go in there so we kept on hiking!! The tunnel to the left, in the above picture, was only tall enough to move through in a crouched position. A few meters away, we came to a hole in the ground which was another entrance to this some tunnel. If you like this kind of thing… There are tons of tunnels to explore on this mountain!
When we got to this point, we were met by a number of other hikers who were resting and taking in the view. It seemed that they had all arrived at this point however perhaps began climbing from different sides of the mountain. The wind was strong up here, but having come to this point, we thought we might as well keep going as high as we could.
The view got more and more incredible!
Between two of the peaks there were some people zip-lining.
Up we go, leaving the other hikers to rest and enjoy the view. We were going to keep going and get an even better view from the top of the peak. This is where the hike got really adventurous!
Graffiti looks interesting when you can’t read it.
The Qingdao Coastline
At the very top of the peak we found an abandoned building, probably formally a lookout post, which had incredible 360 degree views of the city. The steps were high but Justin had no problem getting to the top. It took a little more effort for my short legs.
Room with a view!
View from inside the lookout (yes – I’m short, I see more sky than city!)
We explored in and around the lookout, being careful to hang onto the rocks as we did so because the winds were strong. We had made it to the top and not many people were around so this seemed like a perfect spot for us to settle for a while, and enjoy our packed lunch.
Snack: Dried peas, peanuts and broad beans.
Two Thumbs up!!
We contemplated lying in bed all day, but around 1pm we agreed that it wasn’t too late to “seize the day”, so we packed a bag, got dressed, and headed towards the mountain. I know that this is something we both really love about one another – We live life to the fullest!! I’m so thankful for such an amazing partner! We prayed, ate, chatted, and took in the amazing view below us. What a wonderful way to spend our afternoon.
Heading back down the mountain
We took a different route down.
On our way home we saw a number of incense burners, and various piles of burnt paper and material on the ground. These things are burnt in remembrance of family members who have already died. This part of the FuShan must be popular for these rituals.
This hike was so amazing that we have decided to try and make a weekly habit of exploring some area of FuShan. For the next month, before summer vacation starts, Justin will spend less hours at school. He only has to be there to teach his classes and then he can go home. Hopefully we can use one afternoon a week to go hiking.
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