We have been doing what many do in China at Chinese New Year – being tourists around and about in Guangzhou. On Sunday we traveled to the mountain at the north of the city, Bai Yun, literally White Cloud, for the obvious reason that most of the time that is what you can see. We picked a good day, it was just a bit hazy.
Next day we needed a rest, but then Tuesday was a very good day and Donal thought we really should see the Canton Tower. This is the third highest building in the world, built a few years ago. The experience began a bit like my memory of visiting the Empire State Building years ago in New York, that is, lots of queueing in those ubiquitous lanes marked out with blue tape, along with an awful lot of other people. After we got our choice of tickets – thank goodness no-one wanted to do the “air drop” which has nothing to do with sending pretty pictures through the cloud to someone with a device nearby – we did a lot more queueing through more blue lanes in order to get into the appropriate elevator for out tickets to the 107th floor, from there more queuing to the next 111th where the highest cable car in the world has its entrance. You would think I had not enjoyed it, from this account. Not so. This was the most fantastic day, and I am still gobsmacked by the experience, the sights and general “est” ness of everything. Elspeth the sucker for being a total tourist. I would never have guessed it.
This building, these views, walking back and forwards in the cable car, only six people in each so plenty of space to move and see and wonder, the feeling of the magnificence of human capability was just terrific. Unforgettable.
And, that’s just as I have finished reading yet another serious book (Guy Standing’s: The Precariat, pdf here) about how stupid and inadequate we humans are and I know that Canton Tower and all that est-ness is part of the stupid as well as magnificent. Or is it? Anyway, I recommend the book, it made huge sense and suggests how we can become the best of ourselves rather than the worst.
But if you are ever in Guangzhou, do visit the Canton Tower and ride the cable.
Is it just me?