Leo had to go to Yantai for a couple of days for work. It's a beach town so I thought I would go over and we could spend the weekend there exploring.
Once he got there he sent me a few photos, maybe it wasn't what I had in mind but it was too late, I had my train ticket and I was feeling up for the adventure so off I set.
Yantai is the largest fishing seaport in Shandong Province bordered by the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea. It took me 6 hours on the high speed train to get there from Beijing.
Leo met me at the train station and we caught a didi (uber) to our Hotel. Once we checked in we went for a big walk along the esplanade. It was lovely and the temperature was perfect. For a city of 6.5 million people it didn't seem crowded at all.
I had my togs packed and thought I would be spending the weekend swimming in the ocean but when I saw it I changed my mind. Everyone seemed to be busy hunting for food and I thought if I was to swim it would be like I was slacking off.
People were fishing, dragging nets and digging for razor clams. They were all so busy. The people were quite amused at how interested we were in what they were doing but were happy to show us how it was done, even offering for us to have a go. They would dig a little then squirt some salt on the little hole and up would come the razor clam which they would quickly grab and put it in their bucket. I thought they might have been catching them for bait but no, they assured me they were to eat.
After dinner we went to see where the beautiful piano music was coming from. We found a grand piano, playing itself!! To say Leo was intrigued to find out how it was doing this is a bit of an understatement. I guess it is good to have an inquisitive mind but when he got under the piano that was when I had to pretend I didn't know who he was.
Saturday was a fun day as we hired a tandem bike and rode along the foreshore singing "Riding along on my pushbike honey". I have been wanting to do this since I was a kid and we holidayed a the Gold Coast. I was super excited to at last cross it off my bucket list. I would never have thought I would be crossing it off in China.
I did find out something about myself when we were cycling though and that is that I like to be in control. Only one person could steer and that was Leo. He gets a little distracted looking at the sites and talking and there were times I thought I would end up in hospital with all the near misses we had.
In the afternoon we went for a walk again. I had made some friends the afternoon before and I was happy to see them again. The called out, "hello" and waved happily as I called out "Ni hao".
Isn't technology great these days? Leo was able to watch us get a flogging from the All Blacks in the rugby as we walked along. This was probably one of the few times he wished technology wasn't so great.
I'm always sad to leave the beach but Sunday morning it was time to head back to the farm and check out Leo's crops.
Sunday night my dear friend, Shanshan and her husband, Frank who works for Leo took us to a new night fair that has opened in Qihe.
I was a collector of pet rocks when I was a kid and I got a bit excited to see what I thought were some pet rocks for sale but on closer inspection found that they were real, live turtles. Leo said whoever painted those turtles should be horse whipped.
Everyone was so friendly and wanting to get their photos taken with us.
There was so many restaurants to choose from and we were able to have some of our favourite Chinese food like dumplings and Chinese hamburgers.
It was a great weekend but I'm always happy to get home to Beijing.