Link to some more info about the mountain for anyone who is interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Lao
We had luck with the weather: not too hot and partly clouded. It was a 8km hike up to the top, on quite good stairs all the way. So I do not know if you could actually call it a 'hike', it was more of a steep hill/step walking. But non the less a sweaty one. I forgot my step counter, it would have been nice to know how many steps it became.
It was a nice mountain, beautiful although nothing spectacular. I have been hiking up to El Cielo in Maro, south of Spain (about 1500m above see level, and on a small trail, no fancy staircase all the way to the top there...), and the nature reminded me very much of that. After my trip to Hunan province last year to the 'halelujah' or 'Avatar' mountains of Zhangjiajie, Laoshan felt small. But aside from not being 'blown away by the scenery' it was a very nice day trip, and it felt really good coming out and seeing something else than Rizhao. The staircase made some really good leg training as well!
The tourist season has not started yet, so it was nice and calm and not too many other people.
We passed two small temples, one half way, and one at the top. All the way they had small stands that sold drink, food and crafts etc. I realized now when I went through my pictures, that I forgot to make a picture of the small restaurants along the way. Ah well. Next time!
Enough talking, here are the pictures!
A small lake at the feet of the mountain.
A small waterfall in the beginning.
It was cloudy when we left the car park, but we soon came up to the sun.
At the top you could see down to the cable car house that was our last stop before taking the easy way down with the cable car. What I really liked here was the clouds that came down from the mountain and 'ran' downhills towards the see.
And after walking up the mountain, we took the easy way down, and left the sun behind us.