The Year of China Travels Part 1: Qingdao

Hi all!!!! We’re back!!!!! This is Ana transmitting from my desk because I have a prep period. Haha!

The life of a teaching couple is tiring!!!! We’re both out of the house early, we work in opposite sides of Shanghai, we are at school for long hours, well, that’s the job! Understandably, by the time we get home it’s workouts, dinner, relax, sleep. But in a way, we spend more time together because we don’t see each other as much during the day since I’m working so late.

This year we are focusing our travels inside China. China is a very big country and we do not expect to see all of it in the break periods we have, but we do want to see some of it. For our first holiday this year, we headed northeast to see Qingdao, capital of the Shangdong province and former German concession. As a result of the latter, Qingdao is the beer capital of China sort of – it is home to the Tsingtao brewery, probably the best known Chinese beer overseas. Tsingtao has been a-brewin’ away since 1903 – pretty impressive!

Our goals for this trip were simple and not ambitious at all: we wanted to rest and relax, see the Tsingtao brewery, and be by the water – oh yes, Qingdao is by the ocean so there are a few beaches! This is where the sailing competitions for the 2008 Olympics took place, so there is a marina, and a place to take sailing lessons, rent boats and so forth.

Chinese behavior on the beach is rather interesting: they definitely don’t go to the beach the way we do. Most people had their clothes on – not a lot of swimsuits, and definitely no bikinis -although I would say Chinese women are a bit more modest in their clothing choices. People mostly sit and hang out – no kiosks or waterfront restaurants/bars, you just sit on a rental chair and that’s it. There were some people in the water but not many. We were surprised at how clean the beach was. Maybe because it was a national holiday? It was also not crowded at all despite it being a nice day. It was still interesting.

Here are some phone snaps from the trip. Enjoy!

With love, breweries, and boardwalks,

The Gregors

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