Nanjing is quickly becoming a sauna. It's hot, humid, and sticky, and you can't step outside without breaking into a sweat.
This past weekend was Dragon Boat Festival, which is a holiday commemorating a famous poet who either drowned himself or was sentenced to death by drowning. The boat races represent the people trying to rescue him. The race is fun. Disney didn't have a team, but a friend of one of my coworkers did, so Friday morning I went to Mochou Lake to cheer them on. They came in third in their race, as they were mostly foreigners. But it was fun to watch. I couldn't stay the whole day as I had to work.
|Dragon Boats and racers|
Saturday was a day off for the holiday (as opposed to the 3 days most other people had). I went to a couple new parks in Nanjing that I hadn't been to before and relaxed at home.
Then on my actual weekend, I went to Qingdao. I like the fast trains. They have comfortable seats and air conditioning. Anyway, Qingdao is a seaside city, founded by Germans, where my friend/former short-term roommate moved for work. It's a nice enough city, great architecture, and the weather was wonderfully cool compared to Nanjing - a little too chilly to actually go in the water, but refreshing none-the-less. My hostel was in an old observatory, which was very cool, one of the first built in China. It even had a telescope on the top floor, though the roof was covered, so you couldn't see anything out of it.
|View from the hostel rooftop cafe/bar|
Tuesday, I had ice cream for breakfast. The streets are much too complicated to navigate (like snakes, one local told me); maps are no help; so I spent Tuesday wandering and seeing sights (including Chinese couples taking wedding pictures on the beach) along the boardwalk. It was very nice.
|Zhanqiao Pier (famous image on the Tsingtao beer bottles)|
Wednesday, I tried wandering the streets again for a little to find some sights. I found a street market with lots of seafood and meat and other things, and I found the church I had been looking for. Then I taxied my way to all the sights I wanted to see but couldn't find the day before. I saw nice views from the top of the sightseeing TV tower and a pavilion in a park - I recommend the pavilion; it's cheaper and you get basically the same view. Plus, apparently there are different types of tickets for the tower, and since I got the cheapest one, I didn't get to go all the way to the top. I didn't go to the beer factory (Qingdao is also known for it's locally named brew - Tsingtao - super cheap, supposedly good, advertised at all the local restaurants). After a rest by the water and some more ice cream, it was time to head back to Nanjing.
|Sightseeing TV Tower|
|St. Michael's Catholic Church|
|Stall at street market|
|Train station - cool architecture|