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Elephant Trunk Hill

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After the hill of Broken Heart, curiosity got me and I started looking for more mounts of this type. I discovered that Kyrgyzstan is not the only country with unusual shaped mountains after all. I found that Chinese people can be even more creative in telling the legends about interesting sights. So, welcome to Chinese land of legends – Gui Lin!

Gui Lin is one of the most beautiful places, attracting people all over the world with its stunning nature. If you take a boat trip on the river, the guide can tell an interesting legend about every single hill! Here is one of them about the symbol hill of Gui Lin – Elephant trunk hill:

On the top of Elephant Trunk Hill there is a pagoda named Puxian Pagoda. It looks like the hilt of a sword sticking out of the back of the elephant. In the ancient past, the Emperor of Heaven sent his troops to Earth from the back of the elephant. The elephant worked so hard, that it became seriously ill. The local farmers of Earth nursed it back to health. The elephant being extremely grateful, decided to desert the emperor and stay on earth to help the farmers plow their fields during a time of famine. The Emperor of Heaven was so angry, that he thrust his sword into the elephant’s back and turned the elephant into the rocky hill. The pagoda erected on top of the hill stands for the hilt of the sword. Now this poor elephant stays with the friendly people of Guilin, welcoming guests from all over the world to this beautiful city.

Broken Heart

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There are such mountains in the world, which give an opportunity to hike, to ski and go snowboarding. However, some are visited for something else. They are the small hills or peaks that have much bigger history and meaning than their sizes. They take people to wonderful adventures back to the past, deep into breathtaking legends.

Kyrgyzstan’s unusual gorge in Issyk Kul region is loved for its beauty and mysterious shapes. One of the most popular figures look like a human’s heart, that is broken into two pieces and even the color is red. This is the reason why it took its name “Broken Heart”. The legends say that this is the broken heart of a lover, a beautiful girl, who fell apart with her love. This is how it happened:

At those places lived that pretty girl, like a sunshine and a boy with whom they shared pure love to each other. One day, cruel king saw and wanted to own her. He ordered his people to bring the girl to him. Finding out about this tragedy, the boy chased after them, but was killed by the troops. The girl couldn’t bear her love falling down the hill dead and passed immediately from a broken heart…

Solomon in Kyrgyzstan!

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Everyone, who visits Osh, can’t escape the view of a mountain in the center of the city, just like Eiffel tower in Paris. Sulaiman-Too meaning Solomon’s Mountain is a 1000 metres high rocky spur of Alay mountain range. The mount was revered as a sacred mountain and a major place of pilgrimage in the Central Asia for Muslims as well as pre-Muslims. Its five peaks and slopes contain numerous ancient places of worship and caves with petroglyphs as well as two largely reconstructed 16th century mosques. For many Muslims of the region it is the most sacred place after Holy cities of Makkah, Medinah and Jerusalem.

In June 2009 it became the first site in Kyrgyzstan to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to its report “The site is believed to represent the most complete example of a sacred mountain anywhere in Central Asia, worshiped over several centuries.”

Osh a city located at the crossroads of several branches of silk caravan routes is reportedly older than Rome, and a number of legends say that Alexander The Great had passed through it on his way to India. Another legend says that King Solomon had slept on the mount. Archaeologists have found artifacts dating back to about the fifth century B.C. In any case Mughal Emperor Babur prior to his victory in India, was crowned King of the Ferghana Valley and had stayed here and one of the mosques at the mountain top was constructed by him in 1510.

Gems inside mountains

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Exploring the mountains of Kyrgyzstan can make the one lost inside unending majesty. If he keeps exploring more, he will find incredible pearls, hidden deep inside the “ocean”…

There are some facts that we cannot ignore while talking about the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. Among them of the most important one is that there are over 1900 alpine lakes, some of which are not even shown on the maps. However, each of those lakes are completely different from the others due to the massive diversity of landscape, elevation, and weather found in Kyrgyzstan. It’s impossible to list them all, but here are a group of 6 lakes that will give you a better idea of what the lakes in Kyrgyzstan are like.

1. Issyk Kul is by far the most popular and visited lake because of its fame and beauty. Lake Issyk Kul is the world’s 2nd largest alpine lake (6,236 sq km ; 2,408 sq mi), with brilliant blue water that never freezes even in the coldest winters.

2. Lake Tulpar Kol (3,500 m) is surrounded by soft green mountain swells that extend up into sharper green peaks, then are immediately followed by snow laden mountainsides reaching up into the clouds.

3. Lake Kel Tor (2,700 m) is a gorgeous brilliant blue lake bordered by spruce forests, tall meadows, and rippling green mountains. The mountainsides are covered in wildflowers in the spring and summer.

4. Lake Son Kul (3,016 m) is a large, tranquil Kyrgyzstan lake which is considered to be the most beautiful in the country.

5. Translated as “the disappearing lake,” Lake Mertzbacher is the phoenix of Kyrgyzstan lakes. Located at an altitude of 3,304 meters, this lake has 2 pools, an upper and a lower. Twice a year, the lower pool empties into a connecting river and is gradually reborn by glacier run-off.

6. Of all Kyrgyzstan lakes, Lake Kel Suu (3514 m) has the most mysterious atmosphere. A small lake surrounded by sheer rugged cliffs with hidden caves, Kel Suu’s waters radiate a vibrant turquoise color that offset the surrounding dark rock. This lake is extremely remote and can only be reached in July and August. The best way to explore the crevices and caves of the cliffs is by boat.

Chocolate on cake!

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After expressed my awes for the Kyrgyz mounts last time, I decided to take a look at some Kyrgyz Travel Videos due to some reasons. The first one is of course to get closer look at the country itself and another reason is to find out what’s there for me. I mean, since I’m not a professional skier or mount climber, how could I even dream of seeing those great peaks of Kyrgyzstan one day?!

Fortunately, my little research did not disappoint me. I found that there are tons of different tour packages I can choose to visit those places. Hiking and trekking tours are so various that all the one needs is some free time and good enough health. But my lost energy by age does not really allow me to walk that far and want something even more extreme than that at the same time! Guess what: I can get what I wish now! Helicopter tours – both energy saving and exciting! Just can’t wait to get that chance of looking at the majestic rocks from above!

Great mountains of a small country…

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I have always been proud of our Rocky Mountains! They are majestic and beautiful! Their peaks above the clouds are one of the biggest achievements of some people and for some the greatest aim! In all ways, they really suit the Great country where they are located.

However, I have never thought that a tiny country, which is absolutely unknown to some of us, could overtake our peaks! People may not have heard about this place – Kyrgyzstan before, but they definitely know Tien Shan mountain system! And guess what, its highest peak is situated in that very country!

Peak Pobeda (Victory) is much higher then the highest peak in Rockies of Colorado! Approximate comparison would be 7000 vs 4000 meters!

Life is a climb…

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I was thinking too much about the ups and downs of life lately, as if it would be better if everything became so smooth. What really helped me to finally find inner peace was just observing the nature! I took a small trip to the mountains and I felt so small looking at those ginormous parts of Earth and the problems in my tiny mind just disappeared! How great those mountains were!

If we make some comparison, then it looks like mountains are the “ups and downs” of nature, just like the problems in our lives. But these very mountains are the ones which make this world so beautiful! They are the ones which give us motivation to go up and climb to the biggest heights! From now on, I love my life with its problems, just like I do nature with its majestic mountains!