Sunday, September 15, 2013

In Qingdao - Day 3 - 上午

The original plan was to attend services at the historic Lutheran Church and make our way to the Gold Sands Beach, at our leisure. I welcomed the free time, for we had been running non-stop until now.

But when we got up, we were still tired from yesterday and decided to skip church. I convinced Mom that we should go to Starbucks instead and catch up on our journals. She agreed, so off we went.

Just as I figured out how to connect to Starbuck's wi-fi, she suddenly changed her mind and insisted that we go to church! "But Mom, you said we could skip it!" It was useless. We called and learned that services began at 9:30am (darn!), gulped down my latte (ugh!), rushed back to the hotel to drop off my laptop, asked concierge how to get there, hopped in a cab, and managed to make it in time.

This is exactly what I wanted to avoid... !

The service was packed, with a constant flow of people in and out. As interesting as it was, I excused myself soon enough and sat in the lobby to study the map and figure out today's game plan.

After church, we walked down Jiang Su Road towards the Tian Hou Temple. It was closed for repair.

So we headed towards the famous Zhan Qiao Pier that is embedded in the labels of Tsingtao beer bottles. It too was closed for repair!

And along the way, we got SWINDLED by this street vendor:

Well THAT was fun... not!

While Mom kept falling behind to take pictures along Taiping Road, I got really good at fending off cab drivers who kept coming up to me as I studied the map to try and figure out where to go next.

"小姑娘! What are you looking for? I can take you there!"

"Well... I am looking for my mother..."

We stopped by Qingdao Parkson as we walked up Zhongshan Road. The building architecture along Zhongshan was SO different from the newer parts of town where we were staying.

It was very German, yes, but it was also Chinese - old and new, striking and yet peaceful, all at once. A comfortable stroll it was indeed, despite the number of people out and about. It's the wide pedestrian sidewalks, I tell you!

By this time, we were gettin' kinda hungry...


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