Originally our plan was to go back to the US for three weeks this summer. We had everything planned and organized except for one teeny-weeny little detail: the plane tickets. I kept my eyes on them for months, but the prices were outrageous. I tried every trick I know and everything was exorbitant. Over $1700 per ticket.
But I was optimistic and was holding out for a last minute deal, deals which never materialized. I blame the Word Expo in Shanghai for inflating the prices this summer. By the time we would need to book tickets the cheapest were well over $2,000 per ticket.
So we had to cancel all our plans and we’ll reschedule everything for our winter break in Jan/Feb when tickets are much more reasonable. We’re disappointed, but like a friend said being stuck in China is better than being stuck outside of China. We’ll take the money we’ve been saving and blow some of it on a 3-week trip around China.
We’ve decided to start in Shandong province. It’s a province located on the coast in the middle/northern part of China. We’ll start in Qingdao, the famous home of Tsingtao beer. I’m not a beer drinker, but there is a lot more going on here than just beer. Qingdao used to be occupied by the German and you can still tell today in the architecture (and German bakeries).
The next place we’ll go is Qufu, the hometown of Confucius. It’s a small walled city that hasn’t changed much since his time. (Well, it’s added a lot of hotels and restaurants I assume!)
After we spend some time in the home of one of the most important spiritual leaders, we’ll head over and climb the most sacred mountain in China: Tai Shan.
This is the mountain that the first emperor climbed to declare a united China. There are a number of gods that live on the mountain including Tai Shan himself a child of the creator of the world, and Bixia, a powerful goddess. Can’t wait to meet them!
After Tai Shan we’ll play it by ear. The nice thing about Shandong Province is it is pretty central to many things, even Beijing, so we’ll see what we are in the mood for after visiting the gods.
We’ll be gone for the next 3 weeks or so. In order to keep an active blog I’ve loaded the site with a new feature “Photo of the Day.” Everyday, for the next 21 days, you can come here and see a new picture of something from China. The pictures were taken by either myself or Ryan sometime in the past year. There are lots of pictures we’ve taken that are good, but never really fit into anything so I haven’t been able to show them. Mixed into the 3 weeks are also a few wordier blog posts, so it won’t be pictures everyday (but most days).
Plane Photo Credit
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