Shandong Excursion: Day Three (Jinan)

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» Shandong Excursion: Day Three (Jinan)
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Posted on: July 17th, 2010

Today was our final day of travelling around Shandong Province and we have now returned to our hotel in Weihai. While it’s nice to be back in familiar surroundings, it feels a little lonely here without our friends from the other participating countries!

This morning, we were very pleased to find that the breakfast provided by the hotel in Jinan had western food! It’s been a very long time since we’ve had a chance to have proper western food. So it was nice to be able to eat fried egg, bacon, sausages, proper chips and cheesecake; the simple things that just don’t exist in most of the places in China! Obviously we all had second helpings!

Our first stop of the day was the Daming Lake. I was expecting it to be similar to Kunming Lake (when we went to the Summer Palace in Beijing) but the scenery was actually quite different. While the weather was similar (misty and grey!), the surroundings had a totally different style to Kunming.

Beautiful, but would probably look even nicer if we had a little sun!!

There were lots of wide paths, with many trees similar to weeping willows slumping to the sides. There was a great bridge half way through in front of the lake that made for some fantastic pictures too. The area around the lake was full of pavillions, small ponds packed with lily pads and gates looking out onto the hazy lake. Wherever we walked we could hear echoes of Beijing opera, which added to the atmosphere (although personally I find the sound of Beijing opera to be too strange for my liking!)

We should have taken pedalos out onto this lake as well!

Half way through the trip, we found one of those virtual reality rides. Where you go inside a spaceship and in front is a screen showing you flying through space or on a planet and the whole ship shakes about as you move on-screen. The moment we saw it, the child in us just had to try it out! Anyway, to cut a long story short, it was rubbish. 😛

Our 3-day excursion around Shandong came to a close at the Baotu Springs. The grounds of the spring had a lakes filled to the brim with fishes and (like Daming Lake) was surrounded by wide paths and sweeping trees. The spring itself was admittedly a little underwhelming. It was a small pool of water with some very lightly moving water in the center….we were expecting a little more movement! The very pure, blue water made for a nice picture though, especially with the shrine in the background.

No Gemma, I wouldn't recommend jumping in 😛

While we were walking around the spring, out of the corner of our eyes we could all see a shifty Chinese guy who was clearly following us everywhere. He kept staring at Deniz. Eventually we all went to sit down at one of the pavillions, where the guy sat down next to Deniz and silently glared at him. We all found it hilarious, except Deniz who looked slightly concerned. Good times! 😛 And it made a classic picture, included in the gallery below 🙂

With our trip to the springs complete, it was time to head back to Weihai. Unfortunately for us, there were major hold-ups due to diversions and so instead of a 5 hour trip back to Weihai, we had a 9 hour trip. So we were all pretty stressed by the end of the ride home!

Oh and on the way back we saw a Chinese Tesco, couldn’t believe it existed way out here in the Far East!

On our return to the hotel, we found out our rooms had been lost to Chinese tourists and so we were all given new rooms. Rex and I were disappointed to find we’d got Reem and Bhavneet’s old room (the smallest room, when we originally had the biggest room!) but there’s only a few days left so I think we’ll survive!

With the excursion done, there’s little left on the schedule now, so I’ll probably be making one more post from China, then my next post will be from Seoul, Korea! Until then, 再见!

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I'm a 21-year-old university student currently living in Oxford, UK. I love travelling and hope someday to move abroad permanently. The best part about travelling for me is having new experiences, soaking up all the culture and making new friends from around the world. As well as travel, I love music (live or otherwise), gaming and cinema.
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