We spent the last one-and-a-half days at the Shaolin Temple, learning a bit about its history (and Kung Fu), as well as enjoying the beautiful Song Shan mountain.
The Shaolin Temple is not only a very old Buddhist temple (which would already make it a tourist attraction of its own), but also kind of the birthplace of Kung Fu. During a short preformance, we could marvel at the skills of the Shaolin monks: breaking a metal staff on their own head, or balancing on a spearhead. Most impressive for me, though, was a needle being thrown through a glass plate to bring a balloon to burst behind it.
Around the temple, you can also sometimes see Kung Fu scholars practising their art. There was also the possibility to attend a Kung Fu lesson ourselves. I, however, did not take advantage of this opportunity, as I thought that one cannot learn very much in just one hour. The others were very happy with their lesson, though, so that I almost regret not going. What is more, after their lesson, they could observe the youngest pupils (between three and six years old) practicing.
Instead, I did a short hike up the mountain slope to a cave in which Bodhidharma, the "inventor" of Kung Fu, allegedly once lived for several years.
Today, we all did a hike together on the neighbouring Song Shan. This mountain range has some very impressive white cliffs. The hiking path (called the "Sanhuang Plank Way") leads along these cliffs, and provides some spectacular views – even in rather cloudy conditions (as today).