First Day in Qingdao

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
Trip End Jun 29, 2011

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Flag of China  , Shandong,
Saturday, April 2, 2011

On our first day in Qingdao, I woke up early and scoped out the lounge at our hostel.  This has become a small pleasure of mine.  When we're on vacation, I like to wake up early, go down to the lounge at whatever hostel we're in, drink a cappuccino, and read.  Sam usually joins me soon after, and together we decide whether the lounge is good or not.  The lounge at the Kaiyue International Hostel in Qingdao is number three on our list...or maybe it ties for number two.  It has a variety of seating options, low lighting, mostly good music, and a great menu.
Soon after I found a seat in the lounge, Matt and Tiffany texted to say they were on their way from the airport.  When they arrived, I met them outside and we all hugged.  I hadn't seen them since January.  They checked in, put their stuff in their room, then joined me in the lounge.  Sam came down soon after, and eventually, so did Charles.  

Before we left for Qingdao, Charles made a great list of places to visit, and from his list we selected a German pastry shop for brunch.  We took two taxis to a building downtown, but when we got there, we realized the taxi drivers had brought us to the wrong "Hisense Plaza," so we walked around for half an hour or so until we found the right one.

Unfortunately, as is often the case in China, the German pastry shop wasn't where the website said it should be and we ended up having brunch at a Starbucks.  So much for our attempt at taking in some culture.  

After a meal of cold sandwiches, pastries, and coffee, we walked to the waterfront area where the sailing events for the 2008 Beijing Olympics took place.  There wasn't a whole lot to see there, so we walked to the beach.  There are lots of beaches around Qingdao, and on the first day, we simply selected the closest one.  It was a nice beach, but it was too cold for sunbathing or swimming.
After the beach, we attempted to hit a foreign language bookstore downtown, but again, the bookstore was not at the address Charles had copied from the internet.  After some walking around, we moved on to our next destination, which was the Tsingtao Beer Museum.  Qingdao is famous for its native beer, spelled using the old Wade-Giles system.  At the musuem, we saw the old and the modern factories and sampled "raw" Tsingtao and regular Tsingtao.

It was late afternoon when we finished our tour, so we went back to our hostel to read and rest for a little while then went to an Indian restaurant for dinner.

While riding around the city during the day in taxis, we saw some of the German architecture Qingdao is famous for.  The city is built in the hills and cliffs surrounding the sea, and the European style buildings make for quaint, distinctive neighborhoods.  Qingdao is a good city to walk in.
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