HAPPY CANADA DAY, Tuesday July 01 2014

Other then buying our train tickets home we didn’t have many plans for the day. We figured we’d head to the red bubbles that sat over the city, and take in the views. We did get there in the end, but along the way we found pizza, walked along the water, and discovered a hidden temple! Sometimes the best adventures are unplanned.

We went to the train station in the morning (long lines and very hot, and some trouble getting the “English speaking desk” to understand us) so we’d have our tickets booked for later that day. We were hoping the amazing heating in the rotating ball that we’d enjoyed so much in the winter would turn into AC in the summer. We decided to take the scenic route, and detoured around the water, where hundreds of chinese people were swarming the rocks at low tide pulling off the muscles/ shell fish that clung to the rocks. I had thought there would be some sort of shell I could collect to give my kids on Wednesday, but everything was picked completely clean. There was nothing but white spots on the rocks where the muscles had been torn off, and the tidal pools were barren of life.

We ducked down a side street hoping to get past some of the very slow moving crowds of Chinese tourists, and instead discovered a temple!

Everything inside was built in dedication of the sea and sea gods. Pink lilly flower candles were burning in various buildings, and were for sale for anywhere from 5RMB to thousands of RMB.

We found ourselves on the cafe street we had desperately scoured for food in the winter. Now we had no trouble finding drinks and pizza for lunch.

The roads in Qingdao kind of meander. They are not organized into a comprehensible grid like those in most Chinese cities. It’s very easy to think you’re going one way and end up the other. In fact the other day we’d climbed the wrong hill, only to get the top and see our hostel on the hill top next to us! It took much longer then expected to find the park with the red observation bubble, but eventually we did.

I purposefully chose seats away from the construction going on, only to remember that we rotated, and would have to take our turn with the noise after all. No AC but the building was well ventilated, so it was quite comfortable.

Returned to the hostel for grilled cheese, and fish and chips, and then caught our train home and met Sandy, Amy, and crew at the bar when we got in. Happy Canada Day!

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