Most of our time in China was spent working with the English classes. However, we were given a day to do some sight seeing . We took a trip to the Stone Forest. This natural wonder is a popular tourist attraction outside the city. Apparently many years ago this area was under water. When an earthquake rumbled through the land, the soil sank and limestone was exposed to the elements. The weather has been eroding the limestone into fantastic and amazing shapes ever since. The Chinese call this place the Stone Forest because many of the limestone formations look like giant trees.
We had a guide who told us about the history and legends surrounding the Stone Forest. She cautioned each of us to stay with her and with the group. There are a vast amount of trails leading all over the park, and it would be very easy to get separated.
From the first moment we set foot in the park, Aaron was the star of the show. There were tourists from all over China, and even other parts of the world, there to explore the park. As soon as these people saw Aaron, they wanted their picture taken with him. I (Betsy) was afraid we would lose our guide if the other groups kept hemming us in. So, I had to step in front of the cameras and push us past Aaron's new fans.
Well, due to all this "press" attention, everyone in the Stone Forest that day knew our group. They all knew that the cute little American boy was with us. Now, unfortunately, one of our group did get separated. He was at a loss to know how to find us with his very limited Mandarin. Finally he struck upon a grand thought. Perhaps he could find us with Aaron. So, in his halting Mandarin, he began to ask every person he saw "Where's the American baby?" Each person would point him in the direction of our group until he finally caught us! Aaron saved the day!!!
Enjoy these pictures from the wonderful Stone Forest.
Below: "Stone Forest" carved into limestone in Mandarin. Underneath is Cullen, the man who found our group with the "American Baby" questions.
Aaron liked looking at all the flowers and naming colors.
Aaron did a great job hiking all those trails.
The Stone Forest
There were ethnic groups selling handcrafts and demonstrating ethnic dances and art all over the park. The people below were obviously on a break. We liked the incongruity of the native costumes and people on cell phones.
An ethnic dance group.