28.07.2015 - 28.07.2015 36 °C
Our first big adventure in Jinan was visiting one of the city's many famous landmarks, Daming Lake. It's the biggest lake in the city and is fed by the its many springs.
At first we thought the journey into the city centre to visit the lake was going to be a challenge but, after a bit of help from our new boss, we were able to find the correct bus stop and we were off. The bus was fairly clean and made quick progress through the city, even if it was lacking in suspension which is something we could both forgive considering the fare was 10p! We got a great look at the city and it became quickly apparent that the area we are staying is very different to much of the rest of the city. We'll get a video of our next journey so you can see what we mean!
The bus journey went without a hitch and we soon found ourselves at the lake. It's a beautiful place, with an excellent view of the city's skyline as a backdrop. We spent a pleasant few hours walking around the lake's perimeter, visiting the many pavilions and halls. It was our first taste of Chinese architecture and we were both really impressed with what we saw. After a while, the more cultural side of the lake gave way to a few fairground attractions but luckily they didn't last long and we quickly passed them and back into more tranquil surroundings.
Two highlights of our visit were Quiliu House and Chaoran Tower.
Quiliu house once belonged to a local doctor and is well worth a visit to see its traditional rooms and courtyard. The real star was Chaoran Tower however. which was first built in the Yuan Dynasty then rebuilt in 2009. The tower can be seen from several points around the lake and is home to many interesting cultural artifacts such as some stunning paintings and wood carvings. The real reason for visiting though is the view it provides from the top. From there we were able to get a great view of the entire city as you'll see from the pictures below.
All in all, our trip to Daming Lake was real success. We made it there and back in one piece without getting lost and were able to enjoy some beautiful surroundings. As usual, we were stared at by almost everyone we encountered. Kathy is a real novelty to pretty much everyone who sees her (we're blaming the blonde hair in particular) and this time a little boy even brought her flowers!
Our next trip is to Boatu Springs, the most famous of Jinan's seventy springs so check back soon for our next post!