July 26th #chinadiary

Meridian Day

"This is the first day I have ever lived that has had no date. It is located between July 26 and 27."

Mount Fuji from a distance
And that is pretty much all Carl says about this here, as he recaps the days missed, or rather he relates one momentous day when he climbed Mount Fuji, which he had planned with Ken, but decided to do without, as Ken was not well enough. Quite the fearless social explorer, Carl "picked up two nice chaps at the Japan Tourist Bureau" to climb with. However, having reached the sixth of nine stations to the summit, he realises their joint progress is too slow to get to the top for sunrise, so he set out at his own pace. He reached the top in a few hours and returned safely to ground level later, but I shall finish here by presenting in full Carl's poetic description of his experience of the view from the eighth station of Mount Fuji: 
The country around the foot of the mountain, as far as one could see in every direction, was covered with a thick blanket of billowing white clouds, looking for all the world like a great expanse of foaming ocean breakers, frozen silent in mid-air. On the eastern edge of this expanse, there was a great glowing light coming up from beneath that colored the sky all colors of the rainbow. There was a perfect prismatic scheme of colors, blue, fading into purple, green yellow and red. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen, looking across that snowfield of clouds. In a little while the light became stronger and stronger, the clouds began to be tinged with pink - then the light becomes brilliant, and more brilliant, and then - Hurrah! the SUN. I wish you could have heard the shout that came from the many pilgrims at various stages of the climb, when the sun finally shoved its white-hot brim up thru those soft white clouds. And I shouted too, and waved my cap. We had seen a tremendous event.
The view from the top of Mt Fuji


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