2016: Chinese National Day... China's Qingdao & Jinan!
2016s National Day celebrations beckoned, I didn't want to leave China for that holiday because my passport only had limited pages remaining. I had decided upon Shandong's Qingdao and Jinan city's for the seven day holiday, I would return to England during the following summer so a new passport would be in order. Ready for the beer in Qingdao, I knew nothing about Jinan!
Flying up to 青岛 from 武汉 was easy breezy, I even saw one of my students at the airport before our respected flights were called! In the centre of Qingdao's old Germanic city quarter, formerly managed by Germany, I was going to see some similar European architecture in Qingdao! Settling into my hostel for the first day, the seafood offerings had me eating some lovely fried fish! Needless to say the German connection in Qingdao meant that it's a city that is famous for beer! During the time the German Concession existed in Qingdao, the city fostered a liking for a good old pint of their very own '青岛啤酒!' Braving the rain on the first day I went to the Qingdao Beer Museum, at the former brewery I was schooled about Tsingtao! The brewery itself had been founded by the German settlers in 1903, along with the Japanese it was apparent 'Asahi Beer' had also been brewed in the same brewery! After my visit to the beer museum I ate a bucket of calamari with a colossal amount of 啤酒, the taxi back to my hostel saw me boozed up!
I didn't want no bars but I did go to one place for some day drinking along the beer street near the Tsingtao Beer Museum. Being cheap I had chosen to stay in a hostel, it wasn't a bad place but the social facilities were somewhat lacking. Making the best of the location I settled on four places for the two days I would be spending in Qingdao. I wanted to do things at my pace because the previous National Day week I was the guest in Chongqing. Not bitter but I prefer solo travel. Getting up earlier than the birds, I found a silent and still St. Michael's Catholic Church, those perfect undisturbed views reminded me of 2020s state of lockdown! Chinese newly weds loved the European style, they would have their photos taken outside of the church to have a bragging right even though no religious connection existed. I went back to the church later on that day to see the inside, those National Day crowds had me feeling some kind of way. Qingdao that took me there, I knew little about Shandong Prov, it was a learning experience!