On Thursday afternoon, we decided to get our hair cut. David asked one of his student helpers to go with us because we wanted to go back to the woman who had cut our hair when we were here four years ago. The student brought along a male friend of hers and he spoke English fairly well also. The woman was pleased to see us and remembered us from when were were there before. She was so happy to see us! She cut my hair a little shorter than I am comfortable with, but it will grow back.
|She insisted that we get a picture with her and then she immediately posted it to QQ (China's Facebook).|
We got up early Saturday, took a taxi to the place we were to meet the tour group and Eva, and got on the bus. It was about an hour ride south and east of Jinan. As we get close to the site, we have to go up this rather steep road in that big 60 passenger coach bus. Some of those turns the driver had to take were very sharp. One turn, he had to back up a little bit (with a sheer cliff on the other edge!) and then start on up the rest of the turn.
We walked and saw a lot of the things from a small aviary to some carnival rides for children, but mostly we wanted to get where the leaves had started to turn. There are a lot of maple trees and other deciduous trees that make pretty autumn colors there. They also plant a tulip garden for the Spring and they have orchards of apple and cherry trees in the Spring also.
|Some of the color in Red Leaf Valley.|
|Looking down at a gate that is amid all the colors.|
|A view of the pagoda.|
|The waterfall that is by the lake.|
|This little girl was so happy to have her picture taken with both of us.|
|This woman was so happy that we let her get her picture with us.|
|The little boy that I'm "talking" to just kept coming over to me and wanting more attention.|
|Another little happy Chinese child that got to meet the Americans!|
|Lover's Valley. Eva wanted to know our story of how we met.|
We stopped at one of the little make-shift restaurants that just pop-up all over the place. We had a type of dumpling that is fried, rather than boiled and some won-ton soup. Both were delicious and hit the spot. A boy that looked to be about eight, just stood and watched us the whole time. He had been playing with Legos while the parents worked, but he stopped and came over close to our table and just watched us. Sometimes it feels like we are aliens and they can't believe that we eat and drink and talk.
|These are the fried dumplings. Filled with pork and leeks. Very tasty!|
|Won ton soup with pork, kelp and what Eva called, "baby celery."|
We made our way back to the tour bus on time and then took a city bus back to our campus area. We stopped by a new fruit and vegetable market that is in our area and bought some fruit. As we were crossing the street headed back to the campus, two men, that we learned were here from Pakistan, started talking to us and asking where we were from. They are here getting their Doctorate degrees in microbiology and physics and then they plan to go back to Pakistan and help their country build their knowledge and program there. They received their Bachelor and Masters Degrees from Pakistan where all the courses in their schooling are taught in English. Then they come to China for their Doctorate degree and have to learn Chinese along with work on their Doctorates. They offered us some of their food, but we declined because we had already just bought what we needed. They sure seemed like fine young men.
|Among the colorful leaves with Eva.|
|Paddle boats that you can rent to paddle around the small lake.|
|It was fun to watch kids playing in these plastic bubble rolls. It looked like a lot of fun.|