Saturday, August 25, 2012

Heading North, Now

There are 2 weeks left till school starts. After all of the excitement of traveling south I almost can’t bear the idea of staying at home for that time, battling dust. In a fit of pique, and before I’d even gotten the entries written up from my adventures down south I went to the train station and bought tickets to Qingdao.

That city has long been calling my name. It lies about 5 hours southeast of Beijing by train, on the coast. It is mostly known for its beer, exported worldwide, even to the states. If you are in the mood for a pricier-than-most imported beer, you can try a Tsing Tao. I’ll be going to the monastery that brews it, so I’ll be able to send you pictures, if you’d like.

Hmmm… beer, brewed in a monastery. Smacks of Germany, doesn’t it? There is a reason for that.

A little over a hundred years ago, before the Boxer Rebellion when China was occupied by various European countries, Germany claimed the northern coast for itself. The Germans, as did all the other occupying forces, brought their culture with them. That includes gastronomy, religion, architecture and, of course, beer. As a matter of fact, during August and September, Qingdao sponsors a beer celebration in what they call Old Town: what used to be the German section of town.

You can be sure I’ll visit there, but don’t count on my drinking a lot of beer. I’m just not a drinking kind of girl.

Also, there is a lovely coastal region to explore, and a modern inner city. I’m looking forward to discovering all of these treasures. Unfortunately I am going alone. The bestest traveling buddy in the world, Gary is stuck in Shanghai on a job. But he, and you are with me in spirit.

Let’s go see new things! The overnight train to Beijing leaves Wuhan in about 6 hours. Are you packed?

We’ll spend twelve hours in Beijing and catch another train to Qingdao. That is my only moment of disquiet. We’ll end up in Qingdao at about 2AM. Might be a bit tough finding a hotel room at that time of night. I’m sure we’ll be fine though.

By ‘we’ I mean you and I. You are with me in spirit, as always.

This blog hiatus gives you plenty of time to digest the previous 5 entries, where I talk about the adventures down south. When I come back, in about 5 days I’ll be writing about Qingdao.

See you when I get back!  

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