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Published: October 13th 2017
The morning began with dumplings for breakfast again. The owner of our guesthouse wasn't impressed when we told him the place we had been to the previous morning, telling us that, that place was number 2 in Qingdao and that the best place for dumplings was just down the street from the hostel. I had really enjoyed the dumpling from the day before, so this place would have to be good to bet them. We had walked past the dumpling place near the hostel quite a few times, it seemed never to shut. If the staff weren't in the upstairs part filling and folding the dumplings by hand, then some other members of staff were working in the basement, producing the filling/or dumpling skins. This place definitely didn't seem very customer friendly as all the tables were taken over with dumpling making stuff. We decided to order just one plate of seafood dumplings to share, which saddened me a little as I am addicted to dumplings and think the more the merrier when it comes to eating them. The dumplings were so good here, I really enjoyed eating them, a lot. It was definitely better than the place we went to
the day before and thy set the standard high. I think I could move to Qingdao for the dumplings alone.
Since we had done a lot of walking and sightseeing the day before, we took it a bit easier this morning. We decided to head to one of the malls in Qingdao, to take a look around the shops and escape the heat. We walked down to the train station to catch the metro there. There wasn't really any metro stations near where we were staying. We headed out to the Mixc mall, as looking online had told us it had some of the shops we wanted to visit and a good spot for us to have lunch, too. The mall was right next to the subway station so very easy to get to. We spent a couple of hours looking around the shops, trying on and buying some clothes. Luckily, I didn't buy much as I was only travelling with a carry-on bag. We had worked up an appetite while shopping, so we headed to a burger place that my friend had found online. I found it funny that the Asian had tired of Chinese food, before me
the Westerner had. The Diner, the place my friend had found online had been recommended by a Japanese ex-pat living in Qingdao. We headed up to the floor with all the restaurants on it and located the restaurant. It was pretty busy, but there were still tables available meaning we didn't have to wait. This place had a really nice look and vibe to it, a kind of bar/restaurant mix. Lots of things on the menu looked good and it was tough to make a decision. In the end, we opted for the same things. We had some really refreshing fruit juices and the burger that was topped with cheese, avocado and sour cream. I really enjoyed the burger, I hadn't had one in forever, so it made a nice change from all the Chinese food I normally eat. I only wish there had been more chips. I am always a bit disappointed when the plate isn't covered with a mountain of them. After our lunch, it was time for dessert. I had spotted a place earlier on one of the lower levels so we headed there. I forget the name of the place now (that's what happens when you
write the blog months after travelling there) , this place had the most delicious looking cakes. Luckily, they were labelled in Mandarin and English, so we could choose a flavour we liked. It was hard making a decision though as they all looked good. The coffees and cakes were a good dessert to round off our lovely lunch.
Now, it was time to do some more sightseeing. The location of the mall meant that we were close to the part of Qingdao, that had been used in the Olympics so we headed there. The walk wasn't too long and soon we were at May 4th Square. After the peaceful walk, we were confronted with a million tourists. This is a popular place for people to visit and there were a few beggars about. I really don't encounter beggars very often in China, but seeing a foreigner, they often make a beeline for you. We took a walk along the front and saw the May Wind statue. It is really cool and very distinctive. I could even see it from the plane as we came in to land at Qingdao airport. We continued our walk to the part where the
Olympic sailing events had occurred. The wharf was very quiet now, well apart from the music that was being played. It was a nice walk with not too many people about. We walked all the way to the end and got some great views across the water of the Qingdao skyline. The skyscrapers looked very impressive. However, there was some low-lying clouds (or maybe pollution) that was obscuring the tops of the buildings. It marred the view a bit, but at the same time looked kind of cool. We also didn't escape for the wedding photo shoots that we had seen all along the beaches and at the cathedral yesterday. There were a few boats out on the water and we saw a wedding shoot happening on one of them. It was nice to chill and take in the views. The second wharf we walked along was a lot busier and it was line with flags from all the nations that competed in the Beijing Olympics. It looked really good. There was also a giant torch statue. I enjoyed our walk around this area. A lot of shops and restaurants that I presume had been built for the Olympics or
after it, now stood closed and empty. Since it was a holiday weekend and therefore a peak time for tourists I would have expected them to be open. It's sad that these businesses have floundered. After our long walk along the wharves, we had to do the long walk back to the metro station. We definitely clocked up a lot of steps today, but it didn't feel anywhere near as many as the day before.
Back at the hostel, we chatted to the owner and his friend for a bit via the translation app on his phone. It was interesting to find out a bot more about him and this made it easier despite the language barrier. There was also some coffee on the go, which was nice. I was feeling pretty tired, we had done quite a bit of waking again, today, so took a nap up in the room. After my nap, we chilled in the room for a bit longer, before deciding to head out for something to eat. We headed back through the street food alley, that we had been to before, as it as pretty late most places were shut even on the main
strip of restaurants, there wasn't a lot open. We had left it too late for the early dining habits of China. We did find one place that was open. It didn't look too great, but they were still serving food, so was a winner in our book. Since we weren't starving, we just ordered a couple of dishes to share. We got a dumpling soup, coz we haven't had enough dumplings on this trip, which also contained egg and seaweed. That was pretty yummy. We also got stir-fried shrimp and cabbage, which was good, too.
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