The last week of summer, my friend and I (she’s also Jamaican) just up and planned a 2 1/2 day trip on the fly. Ok it wasn’t very fly, but compared to my normal planning routine:
2 months to think about if I want to travel
1 month researching my destination
1 month to get things in order
Planing a trip in 2 weeks is definitely considered on the fly for me. Our destination? Qingdao, a seaside town in Shandong province (south of Beijing). Qingdao is also where the Germans settled when they came to China so the town has a lot of throwback architecture from the German times.
We spent the days and nights there walking around, eating seafood, feeling the sand under our feet and just embracing how wonderfully quaint and unpretentious it is compared to Beijing. In the 2 days there, i’m pretty sure we said “I love Qingdao!” about ten times.
Almost everywhere we went, the sea was in sight. The terrain also had texture to it, sometimes the roads were steep, sometimes flat, sometimes gently sloping. I know it’s weird to get excited about something like that but in the centre of Beijing (where I live), it’s all just flat. The outskirts of Beijing, near to the Great Wall do have mountains, but I have to drive about 2 hours to get there. Plus there’s definitely no sea.
We stayed in a Youth Hostel much to my excitement. I always saw travelers online talking about Youth Hostel this, Youth Hostel that. Basically I discovered its a cheap hotel with organized activities and areas for socialization for young travelers.
The place is full of sea food and the 1 German restaurant that we found, and it was all amazing.This was my first time going to a German restaurant, so I don’t know if it was authentic or not but all I know is it was delicious.
Lastly, I have to mention how friendly the people were. I also didn’t get stared at as much as I do in Beijing. There was one restaurant owner, who after unloading all his life problems on us almost wanted to strong arm us (in a friendly way) to have beer with him. We managed turn him down politely enough, i think.
Going to Qingdao was a great way to close the summer holidays, and I’ll definitely be having more “on the fly” trips in China, maybe even out of China. Who knows?
To see more pictures checkout my Facebook album