With the busy life we lead the family doesn’t get to get out as much as we would like to. During the week it’s all but impossible but we do our best to have some kind of an outing on the weekends. This week we decided to go to Yue Jiang pavilion, it’s a place of interest here in Nanjing that I have always been interested in but never had the chance to visit.
The history of the pavilion is a bit strange. As I understand it the design was commissioned by the Emperor after the battle of Lion Hill which was at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty, but it was never built because somehow the designs were lost and then the imperial capital moved to Beijing. Skip forward 600 years to modern times and the designs were found (rediscovered) and the government decided to go ahead and build this huge tower on its original site over looking the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) …. a 600 year old design built in 1999… pretty cool hun?!?!
Well, I have always been interested in the place and figured I would get out there to visit eventually. On Sunday we finally did. That morning my wife says, why don’t we go out there today as an adventure for Bruce. And thus, our Sunday Excursion was planned. The only flaw (well the first flaw) in our plan was that we did not check the weather report, why should we it’s been sunny, humid, and 37c degrees for the last month (that’s 104f by the way). So why would we think about rain…. Our first mistake.
We parked the car at a nearby mall and got the stroller out (my second mistake) and the go bag with all my son’s kid stuff in it and off we went. We figured we wouldn’t be back to the car until the evening when we were headed home and we wants to make sure we had everything. What I wasn’t considering was the fact that Yue Jiang Pavilion is a tower on top of Lion Hill, with stairs, not really a stroller environments. But that was ok we would need it while we were shopping afterwards and it would be prefect to plop him into for nap time… so I carried it… all the way up the hill.
About halfway up there was a great outcropping that lets you look out over the modern side of the city great big square concrete blocks of buildings a smoke stack, and the cargo ports along the river. It’s a huge contrast to the pavilion which is built in a very traditional style, carved and painted wood with arching tile roofs and details everywhere. Well, form that little view point, looking out over the city, it was very clear that we were going to get rained on. The sky had already gone deep grey and was approaching black with alarming speed. We lingered just long enough to snap a picture, then my wife scooped up our son, I through the stroller over my solder and up the stairs we went. We reached the shelter of the tower just as the rain started to fall.
I put down the stroller and the go bag, my son went running of with my wife to play and the heavens opened up. For a long while we just rested and walked around under the protection of the large overhangs of the pavilion’s roof but the rain got steadily heavier. We took some pictures and played with Bruce and laughed about our luck. It really was an amazing day to be up there… Surrounded by clouds, torrential rain falling, the modern city below completely blocked out by the storm.
The rain seemed biblical. It just poured and poured and wouldn’t stop. It came cascading off the roof tops and filled all the walkways like little lakes and ponds and all we could really do was try to stay dry under the covered walkways. And after another hour we figured we were going to have to get wet if we wanted to go back down the hill before it got too late.
My wife scooped up our son, I got the bag and the stroller, we both popped open an umbrella and down we went. Unfortunately the rain was coming down so heavily that the stairs had become nothing more than a long series of waterfalls. By the time we got to the bottom of the hill we were wet from the waist down.
Thankfully we had extra clothes in the car and we bought flip flops from a shop in the mall. We finished our shopping and came home with some good stories and fun pictures. Visiting the pavilion in the rain was amazing but I think next time we’ll check the weather report before we go… and I won’t be lugging that stroller all the way up the hill.