No way, I’ve been in Qingdao for three months already… Time flies as we say. Three months completely disconnected from western countries, entirely immerged in the Chinese culture. Now after three months I will leave China with my head full of memories and amazing experiences!
Since the day I arrived, I was looking forward to go to Laoshan, the famous mountain near Qingdao. Sadly, in January, February and March, the weather was still too cold to consider climbing that mountain, and I was feeling desperate to never be able to climb that mountain. And finally, as the end of my stay drew closer and I resigned to not climbing it, I took part in a Laoshan trip organized by InternChina. After an early wake up at 5 am to get to the bus – Laoshan here we are! Even though the weather wasn’t that sunny, I think it was the perfect week end to go to Laoshan (and not because it was my last week end in Qingdao). The temperature was warm enough to take off our sweaters to climb the stairs!
We went through unofficial trails, in the wild part of the mountain. Thankfully we had a Chinese guide who seemed to know exactly where we were and where we went, he was amazing! And once he even took me by the hand and helped me to climb the stairs (not that I couldn’t have done it myself but it was far easier this way). Mid-April is cherry blossom time! A lot of flowers everywhere which gave me the feeling that spring was finally here. After a lot of stairs, I can say that I managed to reach the top of the mountain (or at least the top of the peak our guide led us to), and I am so glad that I was able to do it!
When I wrote my first blog, I still couldn’t believe I was in China, and now I can’t believe I am about to leave it. Three months, it’s short, but I used all the time I had to discover most of the places that have to be seen in Qingdao and to meet a lot of incredible people. I am so grateful towards all those people who made my stay in Qingdao unforgettable. Thank you especially to the InternChina team in Qingdao, for giving me this great opportunity. And of course, many thanks to my host family who has been so nice with me!
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If you plan to come to Qingdao, you will inevitably hear about Laoshan, a must-see in the region. However, while waiting for warmer temperatures to go exploring this beautiful mountain and take a breath of fresh air, you can still go to Fushan, if you want to have an escape in the nature for a few hours.
Fushan is a 5km long and 2km wide mountain in the eastern part of Qingdao. Its highest point is roughly located at 384 meters above the sea. To go up there you won’t need a lot of time, just a bit of willingness. That is what we needed, me and a friend of mine, when we got up at 4:45 am on a Saturday morning (What? Lie in during the week end? Never!) to go to Fushan in order to see the sunrise from the mountain top. Rude awakening, I have to admit, but once our hiking shoes were on, we were up for climbing all of the mountains of the world. Well… it was only Fushan, but anyway.
We walked for a while in the quiet early morning of Qingdao. As we had already been there once, we were familiar with the small passage that allows you to enter the mountain: only three stairs separated the link between the street and the wildness of the mountain. From there, no more roads could be seen but only natural trails. We knew we were going to make it on time, thirty minutes before the sunrise, but the sky was becoming lighter and lighter (good job because otherwise we would have fallen more than once on the way). After few minutes walking gingerly, we reached the stairs. Here is where the real climbing began!
Time quickly passed, sweat and 500 stairs later, we found a comfortable rock to wait for the sunrise. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side, we didn’t even see the sea from the mountain. But even though we had chosen a foggy day, there were beautiful colors and the muted atmosphere caused by the fog was relaxing. We were just about to give up waiting, thinking we would never see the sun coming out, when suddenly we saw it, shyly emerging out of the fog, perfect bright sphere in the sky. We stayed there for a moment, just enjoying the moment.
Afterwards we made our way back home, after a short passage in a bakery for a well-deserved breakfast.
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