Ice cream in January

Trip Start Dec 26, 2006
Trip End Jan 15, 2007

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Flag of China  ,
Monday, January 8, 2007

Gulangyu enchants.  Quiet narrow "streets"...walkways, rather, meander here and there shaded by hanging branches.  There are no cars and few sounds of machinery.  At night most businesses were closed and dark.  As we wandered up and down those narrow lanes it seemed that the island was only lit by street lamps here and there.  The entrancing ambiance made one wish to simply sit and ponder those ideas...they who come un-summoned and overdue at night in such places. 
    In the morning the island had retained some of her ambiance.  We wandered further until we found some huge rocks.  One of these old fellows had been embraced all about by roots.  I've a fondness for great old rocks: to scramble about on them is fantastic.  Gulangyu has got a well-known lookout, but we were pretty happy with these rocks of our own for a little while. 
     Up and about we wandered until we stumbled onto some old Christian cemeteries.  Truly, I've never seen such as these.  Initially we spotted a couple of crumbling grave stones along side the path, next to a utility box, actually.  Then, as we went further we saw more.  There they rested nonchalantly, almost in the backyard of one house.  Trash was littered about the stones and a chicken pecked away at the ground next to one.  Then, on the other side of the path rose a tall wrought-iron fence guaarding a jumble of headstones and stone coffins (I know this is not the proper word...but I can't recall that which is) on the hillside.  After a short time we turned and went in the opposite direction.  Across the way we found another cemetery.  Some of the dates on the stones were quite old, others from the last twenty years.  Many of the older stone coffins were crumbling with age.  The sun shone down brightly, dispelling the mystique of the place. 
     We walked along the beach and ate ice cream.  The waves came on to the sand and then cavorted back out and I thought of Lewis Carroll. 
     We climbed the famous lookout and searched the horizon for the islands belonging to Taiwan.  And here we saw the first white person of the journey (excluding those in Beijing...for Beijing is, of course, expat central). 
     So we spent a full day and two nights on the island and it was so lovely.
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