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On our tour we were taken to St. Michael´s Cathedral. We were surprised that there was a Catholic Cathedral there in China. This cathedral is the seat of the bishop of the bishopric in Quingdao and was built by German missionaries in 1934. The reason for a Catholic Cathedral being raised in this area dates back to the 19th and early 20th century, when Europeans forced China open for trade. The Germans built this oldest part of Quingdao and erected the Cathedral there. From 1942-1945 it came under the control of the Japanese Army and in 1945 it came under Chinese control. During the 10 year Cultural Revolution in 1966-1976 the Chinese abandoned the cathedral and partially destroyed it. And in 1981 the government opened it up again for services and 11 years later it was declared a Provincial Historic Building.
So there is a lot of history here. When we visited we wanted to see some Chinese buildings and temples and were not sure why we were being brought to see a Catholic Cathedral and not many were listening to the guide.
There are ca 10.000 Catholics in Quingdao and mass is held in the Cathedral at 6 o' clock every day in Chinese and Korean.
Sorry again for the lack of photos, I hadn´t got the VT-mentality back then. Now I would have taken loads of photos of all aspects of the cathedral.
Updated Mar 31, 2012
Address: 15 Zhejiang Road, Quingdao
On one of our sight-seeing tours we were taken to an outdoor restaurant by the bay. They brought us such a selection of beautifully made food that we were amazed. There were so many different sorts of food to choose from and they kept bringing us more and more food and stacked it on top of the other food.
This was lunch-time and my group had had several drinks the night before at the hotel, and just to give you an idea of how much they had to drink then the hotel ran out of alcohol and had to send out for supplies in the middle of the night. I cringe when I think about this, this was a 5-star hotel and they must have thought we were such hillbillies ;) Well, at lunchtime the group was so hung-over that most of them did not feel like eating. As you can see from the photos... They were almost begging the waiters not to bring any more food, as the food just kept coming. It was such a pity as this was such beautiful food. Due to my food-allergies I had brought food from Iceland with me, and I was in the minority group of people who didn´t get ill on the plane back. I guess a lot of alcohol and foreign to us food isn´t a good combination.
But kudos to the Chinese for this beautifully made and served food.
Updated Mar 31, 2012
Wusi square is also called May 4th square and is named after the May 4th Movement. This square was really close to our hotel, so we went there a couple of times. There was so much life there, right by the FuShan bay, a lot of people playing with large kites, the sky was filled with them, an amazing sight really.
Although I don´t like modern monuments, I really liked the red monument on Wusi square. We got approached by a Chinese lady asking us if we wanted a photo by the monument. She only spoke Chinese, but holding up the camera and with hand gesture telling us how much it was, we accepted. She then wanted to take more photos, and we agreed to one more by FuShan bay, but then we couldn´t shake her off and had to be firm as to not having more photos taken. She then took us to a small photo-shop and had the photos printed... and asked for much more money than we had agreed to. She got upset and started yelling at us, so I just paid what she asked for, which wasn´t much anyway.
There are many booths selling pearls there for peanuts, which for sure were fake. I then bought some pearls at the hotel, as I didn´t want fake pearls, just to make sure that they were real. I bought a lot of pearls, for all my close female relatives. They were not cheap though, even though this was before the collapse of the Icelandic króna. I think they were little less than I would have paid for them here in Iceland, but I wanted to bring some presents back from China, so I bought them anyway.
Wusi square is divided into three parts really, the ShiZhengTing Square, the park and the central square.
I hope I´m getting this all right and I am missing my photos of the square plus videos, which I took on my mobile phone - which got stolen :(
Updated Mar 31, 2012
Address: 35 DongHai West Road, ShiNan district
One day we went to a whole different area of Quingdao where there was an indoor market selling fake brand-names of all sorts. It was amazing really, many floors filled with only fake brand-name bags and stuff, the same stuff probably they sell on the beach in Spain f.ex. We went there with a guide and decided on staying behind to have a look at this part of Quingdao, as we were staying in the posh part of it. People bought so much stuff there and the day after some of them came back, and by then the prices were double what they had been the day before.
In that area were also The Communist run stores, which were immaculate, but the atmosphere was really cold.
We walked in some side-streets, some of which were filled with fish, which was laid out straight on the side-walk. To our surprise Serbian music was being played in one of the bars we passed, not something I had expected in this area.
We had the hardest time getting back to the hotel as there was absolutely no taxi which was not occupied and we were getting really desperate, it was getting dark and the traffic was like something I had never seen before. We were finally able to hitch a ride on a taxi with a passenger which took us for a big detour of the city to drop the passenger off. Fortunatly we had been given a laminated card with the name of the hotel and written in Chinese that we needed to go there ;)
Updated Mar 31, 2012
On one of our walks by the ocean/beach we saw a lot of couples taking bridal photos. It surprised me to see so many of them together so I asked our tour-guide. He said that it is a tradition here to take the bridal photos before the wedding. That is very different from the western world where the groom is not supposed to see the bride in her wedding gown before she walks down the aisle.
But this was so lovely watching and everybody seemed to be having so much fun :)
Updated Mar 7, 2012
The beautiful ball on top of this building constantly changed colours, making it a mesmerizing sight.
It was located opposite our hotel and I couldn´t take my eyes of it at night. Back then I owned a digital camera with only 63 photos and too many of them I spent on taking photos of this tower. But it was really amazing... or maybe I am just a child at heart.
Updated Mar 7, 2012
Craft Beer in Qingdao
China is one the biggest beer consumers in the world. Of course one of the most famous beers in China is Qingdao Beer so when I first went to Qingdao I did a whole lot of beer tasting. Although Qingpi (Qingdao beer) and Laopi (Laoshan beer) will always be a favorite beer of mine I have begun to appreciate the new craft beers in China over the mass produced lagers. Although lagers are one of the most popular beers in the world they certainly aren't the best. Craft beers have flavor and are different from brewer to brewer. Where as a blind tasting between Qingpi and Laopi may be indistinguishable to your average consumer, craft beers can contain much more individual character. It's not difficult to wing yourself off the bland industrial lagers and get yourself hooked on never ending craft beer adventure.
The biggest difference between the mass produced lagers and craft beer is taste. Craft beers can be a little bit more expensive but they're generally higher in alcohol and they're made with love. The mass produced lagers are made to be the least offensive to the most amount of people. This is why you will find adjuncts such as rice used in their recipes, rice is lighter and blander. Craft beers live more on the wild side of things and seem less worried about offending people. Many craft brewers use local ingredients, everything from fresh fruit, herbs, spices to pine needles and pumpkins. Some craft brewers are very intent on brewing to style and brewing the worlds traditional beers the way they were brewed 150 years ago. Other craft brewers throw all kinds of stuff into the brew kettle looking to find some new combination of flavors. The sense of smell and taste are powerful vehicles that can take you back to your childhood, aroma and flavor in some hidden craft brew is your ticket to ride.
I'm always on a quest to find new craft beers and China is no exception. Of course a lot of imports can be found on the shelves of some higher-end grocery stores but I'm more on the look out for the local brew. I've found wonderful beers being brewed in Dali, Yunnan at the Bad Monkey Brewhouse. In Hongkong, the Typhoon Brewery has a great interpretation of British style ale. The Nanjing based Oktoberfest Brewery reproduces decent German style lagers. Shanghai's Boxing Cat Brewery has a wide selection of beers including some great IPA's. The eccentric Great Leap Brewery in Beijing is a small craft brewery with a lot of uncommon beers using local ingredients. And finally, Qingdao seems to be the new home to Strong Ale Works, a balanced bottle conditioned ale.
The fact is craft brews are out there and can be a lot of fun seeking out. Next time you're traveling around China explore the area for a craft beer. Taking a craft beer adventure is not only supportive of the small local brewers but is also has it's cool refreshing rewards.
Written May 5, 2011
Established in August 2003, the Tsingtao Beer Museum combines the history of the brewery, from when it was started by the Germans in 1903, right up to the present day. It is divided into three sections: History and Culture of a century, Production and Multi Media Area. The first section details how the brewery was founded and built in Qingdao in one of its original buildings. On display are many old advertising posters, photos and other exhibits. The beer production section allows you to feel a part of the beer making process as you wander through the old workshops, brewing lab, fermentation and storage cellar. You finish this section at a mini bar where you can sample the beer before it's been filtered (which I didn't like the sight or taste of). The last section exhibits old packaging (see next tip for photos), new packaging and at the end is where you get your sample of beer which is included in the price of your ticket.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 56 Dengzhou Road.
This long street is great to visit. Lots of really good places to eat and drink. All you need to do is get in a taxi and ask for Beer Street. They all know where it is. Located by the Beer Factory. Fun times had by all!
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Just ask a taxi
You can walk along the pier and have an eye on Huilange Pavilion.
There is also a sand beach near the pier, you may want to walk in the water to cool your feet after a while of hanging around. There are plenty of salespeople in the pier where you can buy all types of accessories.
Toilet facilities are provided.
On 19th June, sunset was at about 7pm.
Written Jun 19, 2010
Address: Taiping Road
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