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We're spending just over three weeks away this trip. We're flying into Beijing, then going to Qufu (birthplace of Confucius and UNESCO World Heritage); Tai Shan (also World Heritage) -a sacred mountain - we've already climbed two, which were spectacular); Shanhauiguan (where the Great Wall meets the sea) and Chengde (lots of temples, and also World Heritage) - all places we missed on our 3-month trip in 2001.
We're then going on a 12-day tour into ...
Tai = too/biggest/greatest/highest
Shan = mountain
TaiShan is actually not the highest mountain in China, probably not even close, around 1.5km above sea level. It's the perfect hike for a day hike, only 4 hours from base to summit. I took the central route both ways, so every step was paved and every 10 minutes you see rows of hawkers selling everything imaginable, including small ...
This will be our last day in Tai'an.
We spent the morning practicing for the afternoon ceremonies and students had a good last chance to hang out with their Chinese counterparts. While the morning was pretty low key the afternoon was anything but.
After our last school lunch (no more mystery meat sticks) and a afternoon rest (no more of those in America) we went back to ...
... and had dinner at the Pizza Hut at the mall. While the Pizza Hut offers fajitas and sushi, we decided to stick with the pepperoni pizza.
The night, our final one to really explore Tai'an, allowed us to casually walk down to the city square and make it to some last minutes shops. Tomorrow the kids will participate in the closing ceremonies and will have a final night in Tai'an.
Last night in a hotel ...
... short of a visual stimulation overload. There are people, stuff and deals everywhere. If you are looking for your fake purse this is the place to go. After that the teachers went to visit some elementary school kids who are learning English. It was very interesting to see the process of little ones learning a new language.
We went back to the hotel and welcomed all of our kids back and all went to bed after a long day.
Last day of classes tomorrow .....