Qufu – the home town of Confucius

This is the day two very tired people travelled to Qufu. Catching the train was actually much easier than we feared, not a mad scramble, but actually very civilised. It was easy to get off at Qufu because we weren’t in the carriage with the rest of the folk getting off there. Our agent hadn’t been able to get us tickets for Qufu, we had tickets to the next station on, but there was no problem with getting off early.

Going back to breakfast today, it was served in a huge atrium restaurant and was the most sumptuous and varied buffet breakfast I’ve ever seen. Chinese, American, French and German type foods, I can’t begin to describe it.

We had bought some snack food for the train and when we arrived at our hotel feeling tired and in need of rest we had enough stuff to have a light lunch before having some rest time. The hotel is quite modest, but comfortable enough. No air conditioning in our room because the hotel doesn’t switch it on until summer, or something. We can open the windows a bit.

Our first task when we went out was to get local SIM cards for our phones. We want to use internet on our phones rather than use the unsecured networks in hotels. Plus we want to have SMS and phone contact. It took about an hour and lots of use of translation programs to get things set up. For about $26 we have access for a month for two phones with ‘unlimited flow’ internet.

We then walked to the main attraction here, the Confucius mansion. We were too late to go in, but wandered about looking at all the stalls with Confucius inspired stuff.

The featured photo at the top is outside our hotel. The whole town seems dedicated to this famous man, but it is set up for Chinese visitors, we saw mainly Chinese people and little English in terms of signage. Some restaurants have English as well as Chinese menus, perhaps we are too early to see international tourists.

A 5 A historic site, a unique way of dating sites here in China.

We were in time to see a special closing ceremony at the gate.

We had some struggles today because of being tired, but we have decided that the day has also had good things in it, and that is what we want to remember.

On the way home we went to a supermarket for small stuff, then had a cheap and basic meal at a chain eatery. Again, people did not speak English, but we muddled through, with goodwill on both sides.

Stephen takes up the challenge of trying to communicate using his basic Chinese, with people who have a little bit of English. It creates goodwill and makes us feel more connected than we would otherwise feel.

We enjoyed seeing the parks and canals as we walked along. Qufu is a fairly typical small city, probably with more traditional style buildings, both new and old, than other towns we’ve seen.

We are finishing off with a Desert Island Disk episode – Clive James. I’ve been writing and choosing photos during the program so didn’t absorb much.

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