Trip Start Jun 03, 2006
132Trip End Jun 03, 2009
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Trees are everywhere, but never big and never dense. It is as though man is engaging in a futile effort to hold back the advancing desert by standing lines of straggly underdeveloped teenage boys before the waves of sand. It is nonetheless, a spectacular backdrop for a journey and that is not where the comparisons with Spain end either
Perhaps the artistic sophisticates of Southern China might label this a simple place, but it is also the cradle of Confucius and the setting for one of China's great mountain pilgrimages up the steps of TaiShan. Nonetheless, I find there is a simplicity and honesty to the people and the lifestyle I find here. I feel safe and am not constantly checking to see if I'm being cheated. If you were describing it as a person, then perhaps Shandong would be ruggedly handsome. There we have the parallel with Northern Spain again. I wonder what Hemmingway would have made of this place?