Qingdao Day 2

29 04 2010

We went to bed earlier than we do in normal life on Saturday so we could squeeze every last minute out of Sunday. And squeeze we did.

1- The Governor’s Mansion

The nice thing about Qingdao is that, because it’s on a hill next to the ocean, you can spot all of the important landmarks and easily wander toward them. We headed over to the most famous piece of German architecture in town (and there are lots), the Governer’s mansion. It was built in 1903, went crazily over budget and the chancellor fired the dude who built it. It’s famous because it’s big and pretty but also because MAO SLEPT THERE. Holy moly. Jeremiah was very impressed.

I liked their chandeliers. All kinds of art deco awesome with goofy modern lightbulbs … ah China.

2- We stumbled into the temple next to the ocean and paid our respects to the gods keeping an eye on the sailors. Check out those horns!

3- Next we headed to the beach and the famous Qingdao pier.

You’ll recognize it from all of your Tsingtao beer bottles … what’s that you say? You’ve never had a Tsingtao beer? Sacrilege.
(See these guys behind me in the hats? That means they’re on an official tour. Their guide leads them around waving a bike flag looking thing with a megaphone attached. We are PROS at avoiding these groups at sites.)

The pier is covered with people and other people trying to sell those people crap.

Yum!

Let’s take a closer look.

Imagine these suckers moving around … cause that’s what they were doing … and it’s gross.

4- After lunch (in a restaurant where a trained bird kept saying Ni Hao) we walked toward this castle thing. It was a few miles but these things don’t bother city hikers like us.

Along the way we spotted oodles of brides getting their pictures taken. We might have talked a little about Chinese wedding customs, but here’s a quick reminder. The dresses are rented from the photography studio and pre-wedding photos are taken in bizarre studio set ups and next to famous sites in town. In Nanjing, this is at our famous lake or purple mountain. In Qingdao, the famous spot is the ocean, and it was wedding central.

Waiting their turn.

Cranky bride ready to pack it in.

They don’t just wear white.

The castle was a bit run down inside (you can see it in the distance here) but the grounds had a wildly unrelated sculpture garden.

Could we be cuter?

For more sculpture garden antics see the flickr page.

5- Time for booze. I think I’ll need to make another post, because I’m a little picture heavy. So, onto the next blog!

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