Published: March 22nd 2011March 22nd 2011
THe German Governor's Residence
After the German occupation, they called this the Guest House as the Government officials would stay here when visiting the city
19 March 2011 Qingdao (pronounced Chengdow)
Arrived alongside Qingdao wharf at approximately 7:00am this morning to be greeted by lion dancers (not the Billy Ray Cyrus type as Barrie had thought!) and a Chinese drum and brass band. It is not as cold as it has been, so we were looking forward to going ashore on the German Heritage Tour.
Qingdao is still emerging as a tourist destination and is touted as “a dynamic city on the east coast of China’s Shandong Province”. I think they have a long way to go to live up to such a statement as my first impressions were not enhanced during our tour of the city. Everything was shabby verging on the ramshackle and a thin layer of dust blanketed everything including cars, buildings and trees. Every now and then, there was a glimpse of a derelict building that one could imagine being a stately home during the German occupation, but was now a sorry version of its former glory.
One significant absence in Qingdao is bicycles. While Shanghai is abuzz with every 2 wheeled contraption you can imagine, this city is very hilly so not conducive to anything except horse power!
The grand staircase
The house is Bavarian in style.
stop was the Tsingtao (pronounced Chingtow) Brewery Museum. This was started by the Germans in 1903, but was taken over by the Government when China was “liberated”. It is stilled owned by the government. It was interesting to see firstly the original brewing equipment and then as it operates today. The final stop was to taste the end result and I must say it wasn’t a bad drop! We bought a souvenir bottle of beer with our photo on the label!
We then travelled to the Guest House – which was formerly the German Governors Residence, and then used to house government officials and visitors after the German occupation. Famous people have stayed here including Ho Chi Minh and Mao himself! Mao’s bedroom and sitting room is exactly as it was when he stayed there.
The last thing on the itinerary was the old German Fort, built into the hillside consisting of 3 storeys and in some parts 5 storeys, housing the War Command offices as well as living quarters for the German army personnel assigned to the command. I felt rather claustrophobic and only explored the one floor. Barrie went down the very steep flight of stairs to the
sleeping quarters and logistics rooms.
We had an option of leaving the tour in the centre of town for shopping, but after seeing what little was on offer, we decided to come back to the ship for lunch and chill for the afternoon. It’s a lovely day on deck even though I have a blanket over my lap to keep the chill off my legs.
Looking forward to our next port of call – Tianjin – on Monday. We will be taking the excursion to Beijing to visit the Great Wall.
There are more photos below