Qingdao #2: Beach Walk and Weddings

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May 29th 2017
Published: September 29th 2017
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We were up pretty early and ready for some breakfast. Qingdao is famous for seafood dumplings and if I remember correctly, there was a place nearby that my friend wanted to try. We headed uphill and came to a place, since everything was in Chinese we presumed it was the place we wanted, since we couldn't tell. There were a few woman inside making dumplings so it seemed to be the right place. We ordered a couple of plates of dumpling, one was definitely a seafood one, and I think the other one was pork. The restaurant was really quite and we were the only people in there. The family that own it were all sitting having breakfast, their meal looked like a real feast. I was starving, so was willing the dumplings to cook quicker. Finally, they arrived. They were so good! I really, really enjoyed. We had two massive plates of dumplings, I really wish we could have finished them as they were too good to waste. I think if I had been travelling alone, I would have sat there until they were all gone, but in company I would have looked too much like a pig. The perks of travelling alone.

After breakfast, we spent a good while wandering the streets around Zhongshan Road, as the architecture was really pretty. It is so different to a regular Chinese city. We also came across a wall, which had lots of pretty murals on it. We then headed towards the coast. We took the same route as last night and kept on going walking along by the beach. We came to the end of this section of beach and there were a couple of boats up on the shore. We then strolled along the promenade, we could see more boats and an island/peninsula (not sure which) in the distance. We stopped at a little store to try some of the local yogurt drink that we had seen being sold everywhere. We tried two different ones, they were pretty good. We came across a rocky outcrop, I wouldn't really call it a beach as there was no sand and there were lots of people exploring the rocks and some were fishing. We had a bit of a wander over it, but it wasn't too exciting. We finally found a cafe and went to get a coffee. The cafe was across a busy road, I don't know if Qingdao is always this busy or just because it is a holiday. It was nice to relax under the air-con, as it was pretty hot outside.

After leaving the cafe, we headed back across the road and came to a nice park area, Luxun Park extended along the coast. We walked along taking in the views and stopping for a rest at one of the many benches, so we could watch the world go by. I really liked the park, it would be a nice place to come and relax in, reading a book. We continued our walk through the park and it ended at No. 1 Bathing Beach. The beach looked pretty good, wide and flat with lots of sand. There were quite a few people making the most of the good weather and enjoying the beach. One thing that shocked me was the men in Speedos, I am so used to people covering up in the sun, even the men in Korea, that it was a refreshing sight to actually see some flesh on display at the beach, even if it was a bunch of Chinese grandads. There was a nice paved path next to the beach so we walked along that. It was also set a little higher than the beach in places meaning that we had a good view looking down on the beach. We walked along the beach and then onto the next beach, Beach No. 2. This one wasn't as nice as the first, it was smaller and a bit more rocky. We passed so many couples doing wedding shoots, the beaches were littered with them. I hope the photographers can photoshop the pollution out of their pictures and give them beautiful clear blue skies. We made all the way round to the start of Beach No. 3 before giving up on our beach walk, we were pretty tired by this point. We headed inland to try and find a bus or subway that would take us back the area where we were staying. This took a while and we eventually came to a subway station.

We came to a subway station and decided to take the train back to the city centre to give our tired feet a break. We were also starving so were on the lookout for somewhere to eat when we alighted the train at the main train station. There was a shopping centre opposite so we headed to a Taiwanese fast food place in there. We got rice bowls with some kind of minced meat, egg and vegetables, and also a side of dumplings. The food was decent and filled our hungry bellies. We had a look around the department store and supermarket, nothing special really. We headed back into the main part of town. We headed to the street by the cathedral, it was pretty busy not just with tourists but also wedding photo shoots, we just couldn't escape them. The photos must look so much better than the reality, as the couples are all lined up in close proximity to each other. The street leading up to the cathedral is quite quaint on one side, the shops and cafes look really cute. St. Michael's Cathedral is a Catholic church, that was built by German missionaries and resembles a 12th century German cathedral in design. The cathedral was built in 1934 but fell under Japanese control in 1942. Later, in the 1950s all foreign missionaries were imprisoned or expelled from China, and the cathedral was damage and abandoned during the Cultural Revolution. It wasn't until the 1980s that the cathedral was restored and opened for services. There was an entrance fee to go inside the cathedral, so we paid that and went inside. There were quite a few tourists and worshipers inside. The cathedral was quite simple, but had some beautiful artwork. I love the candle stained glass window.

We headed back to the hostel to rest after all the walking we had done. I think we clocked up about 40,000 steps on the old pedometer. We decided to go for a late dinner, since we had eaten lunch so late. We headed to the street food street. We looked around the stalls but nothing really caught our eye. We continued to the street, which had loads of restaurants on it. Still, nothing really stood out. We walked to the end of the street and then took another street, which had some restaurants on it. Since it was late a lot of places were closing. We ended up heading back to the busy restaurant street and picked a place there. I liked how pretty much all of the tables were outside and it really felt like being on holiday, sitting outside in the warm night air. We ordered a couple of big bottles of Tsingtao and enjoyed them while waiting for our food to arrive. We had ordered some green veggies, which were good and some grilled seafood. We got some kind of clam, I think, that was okay, but the grilled shrimps were really good. So good, in fact, that I had to order another one. It was pretty late by the time we had finished dinner, so we just headed back to the hostel.

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