Trying to find a sentence that ties pancakes into my trip in Shandong and failing. So just pretend I did that cleverly.
More pics of China:
I went to two cities in the Shandong province, Ji nan and Ru shan. Ru shan is a vacation town by the sea, so lots and lots of seafood! We went down to the beach every day with my grandparents, who rented a house there and who will be staying there for the next five months or so.
Seafood in raw form; that morning's catch
Sea cucumbers (above)
And on my plate. I apologize for the less-than-stellar photography; my hands get shaky around right before I eat due to carb deprivation ;p
Tourist sites by the coast- a temple the Qing emperor supposedly built, and many statuaries engraved by famous characters like Deng Xiao Ping as well as poets.
And then some other mystical temple complex. Everything in China has tons of history (like any millenia-old civilization) but most feel ruined by all the tourists and all the "remodeling."
Oh yeah, and if you're a traitor to the nation then you get put into Fifty Shades of Grey.
Seagull Island- a breeding ground for the seagulls. The ground is littered with baby birds who got nudged off of the cliffs before they knew how to fly and thus waxed the poetic
The contributor for 90% of ancient chinese (and a good portion of modern) society. The place where Confuscious was born and where his descendents lived in palatial splendor. You can trace his family tree back over 80 generations and today several of his family are still alive. This is where a man who impacted and shaped society forever was born over a thousand years ago.
And then on to the place where emperors all went to connect with the heavens, Tai Shan. Or Mt. Tai
We got driven to the halfway point and then took over two hours to climb 800 meters (vertically, people.) Killer quads, baby. They were killing me.
And then we stayed for the night in a roach-infested hotel at the very top of the mountain. The very best, we are assured. And for a place like that, it's true- you really weren't going to get any better than that. My spoiled Americanized ass should not be complaining. But it was all worth it the next morning watching the sun rise
We were lucky to get a seat so high up; if you looked down the stairs...
The scenery back down the mountain was amazing too
And now more scenes from Ji nan, various parks
Shandong is a province rich with history, as it is close to the south. I recommend anybody with an interest in Chinese calligraphy (or just calligraphy) to visit.