Jane Eyre, the lead character in Annabelle Troy’s novel Jane Eyre Gets Real, is no stranger to the travails of #love. However, even she would hesitate before visiting the new carousel ride at China’s Flying Kiss Amusement Park, Chongqing. There, on a cliff 3,300 feet above the Wu River, are poised two gigantic statues; one represents Chaofeng, the other The Purple Fairy, mythic lovers from an ancient tale. Each figure holds a revolving carousel in their hand, which takes human passengers to a height of 52 meters then spins them around in the air, allowing them gorgeous–if dizzying–panoramic views. The ride lasts seven minutes; is it seven minutes in heaven? That’s for the participants to decide; the carousels contain no seat belts or seats for that matter; passengers stand, and there is only a waist-high railing between them and thin air. As for the 170 foot statues, they bend at the start of the ride to allow people to enter at ground level; then they raise their arms until the carousels are at maximum height; at the end of the ride they stoop down again to allow disembarkation. Somewhere up there, the lovers lean into each other and kiss. How romantic!
According to legend, Chaofeng is the Son of the Dragon King; the Purple Fairy is ninth daughter of the Jade Emperor–appropriately King of the Sky. In “real life”, because they angered the Queen Mother–#MeghanMarkle and #Harry beware?–they were changed into two mountains, destined to remain in sight of one another but forever separate, until now. Perhaps The Flying Kiss is proof that love eventually does conquer all, though it might cause you motion sickness first.