|Reclining Buddha. Not sure why they were all draped today.|
|Another big Buddha.|
|We loved this sign! Some of the translations they come up with are hilarious.|
|The climb to the Golden Buddha.|
|He is huge! I believe he is the largest Buddha in China, but that may be just what Ji'nan wants to say...|
Day 18 - A Saturday of Adventure
We had planned to get an early start today, but we had to wait around for our water to be delivered. After the delivery, we hopped on the bus to meet with the Clark’s and see their apartment. It has some nice stuff in it because it has had BYU teachers in it for so many years. On the bus ride over, we were not sure what stop to get off at exactly. David had to stand most of the way and couldn’t see out the window very well to watch for the stop that had been described to us. A Chinese woman who teaches 10-12 year olds in school started talking to us and when we tried to tell her which stop we wanted, she said she couldn’t help us much because she was unfamiliar with this area of town. She was so kind that she went to the bus driver and asked him which stop we would need and then she watched out for the stop and made sure that we got where we needed to go.
|This is an electric toy that children can ride. Cute to see.|
Today’s adventure was to go to Thousand Buddha Mountain. I guess there are a thousand Buddha on the mountain, and I know we didn’t see all of them, but we did see a lot. I’ve got lots of pictures to add to day. There are stairs that you can climb, and climb, and climb, and climb, and climb… well, you get the idea. There are several that are super big and we walked all over to go see the biggest ones. Then we found that we could ride a gondola (ski lift) to the top, and since our feet were all pretty tired by this point (and it was a pretty hot day here in Ji’nan), we did that. It was a fun ride and people coming down were all waving to us and saying either “Hello” or “Hi.” They know that English word and even if they don’t know any others, they will say it. It was fun.
At the top is quite a view over the city of Ji’nan. Ji’nan is like Utah Valley, where it is surrounded by mountains and so the pollution just gets trapped in the valley and it takes a pretty good wind to clear it out. You couldn’t see as far as it was to our campus or DaMing Lake. We walked around and saw the buildings up there. Some more brave people came up to us and were very welcoming. We rode the gondola back down and went back to the Clark’s apartment and they invited us to stay for dinner.
Tonight was District Conference, so we rode with the Clark’s to the Hanlin Hotel where we meet and enjoyed the conference. We had planned to stay a while and play games and eat goodies, but we only ended up eating the goodies and talking. We have all had so many adventures in the first few weeks of being here that we just have so much to talk about. We needed to get back to our apartment, so we left a little before 9 p.m. We got a taxi to take us back because the busses stop running at 9. The hotel helped us get a taxi and then they told the taxi driver the wrong address to go to (There are 6 Shandong University Campuses), and when he pulled up to the wrong university and we showed him the address card that we keep to let them know our address to take us home, I’m sure he let out a string of profanity (that I am more than glad that I couldn’t understand) and took us to the right campus. We wanted to be generous with what we paid him because he had already turned off the meter, and to I handed him 30 yaun, but he handed back 5 of it. It has been a long day full of adventure again.
|We have seen all sorts of odd flavors of potato chips here. I decided to try the cucumber flavored ones today. Interesting, but not sure I would buy them again.|
|The first Buddha we met.|
|We liked this one because of the deer by his side.|
|We still had all this way to go and we had only encountered about nine Buddha at this point.|
|This one fascinated us because of his long, long eyebrows. Don't know if anyone has ever really grown them that long, but that's what it showed.|
|View of Ji'nan from the top.|
|More of Ji'nan.|
|Interesting to see this tree growing out of the side of the wall.|
|Buildings at the top of Thousand Buddha Mountain.|