We spent a very active day visiting the Xuanwu Lake Park (and part of the old city wall) then walking up the seemingly thousands of steps to the top of Purple Mountain. Towards the top the neat stone steps deteriorate into a real goat track of loose stones and rubble... hard going.
Great view from the top, but an exhausting relentless climb... thank goodness for the refreshment stands at the top, I downed one 550ml bottle of water in a few seconds before opening another!
Sadly the view was not too good due to the chronic air pollution (even on a Saturday) and the rubbish strewn everywhere added to the rundown feeling once at the summit. A road seemingly takes you further to the 'real' summit, but is then blocked off by a high fence due to the military communications towers up there.
Having rehydrated, we caught the cablecar down the mountain... great views and a far more relaxing way to end the trip. If planning to walk up Purple Mountain wear good walking shoes and carry plenty of water!
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