Our Shandong travels, continued…

Tai Shan is the holiest of China's five holy peaks.

Tai Shan is the holiest of China’s five holy peaks.

 

Blossoms were still out as we started our climb.

Blossoms were still out as we started our climb.

 

The stairs, mounted for centuries by Emperors who came to pay tribute to the mountain, almost have the look of the Great Wall.

The more than six thousand stairs, mounted for centuries by Emperors who came to pay tribute to the holy peak, almost have the look of the Great Wall.

 

They're also kind of steep.

They’re also kind of steep.

 

Prayers and offerings of giant incense are still very much a part of the climb today.

Prayers and offerings of giant incense are still very much a part of the climb today.

 

But the views (and many temples) at the top are worth the climb.

And the views and temples at the top are worth the climb.

 

Jagged views.

 

More dramatic views.

 

My favorite shot from that day's extensive collection of pictures of Chinese tourists who took pictures of me.

This was my favorite shot from the day’s extensive, experimental collection of pictures of Chinese tourists who took pictures of me.

 

Our final stop was Zhujiayu, a tiny village that looks much like it did five hundred years ago.

We spent the last day of our trip in Zhujiayu, a tiny village that looks much like it did five hundred years ago.

 

The town is situated in a gentle, terraced basin.

The town is situated in a gentle, terraced basin.

 

My parents made some new friends there, a wonderful couple who cut their work in the fields short to have us over for tea.

My parents made some new friends there, a wonderful couple who left their work in the fields to have us over for tea.

 

Many of the old homes are abandoned, but all retain a gentle, clay-colored charm.

Many of the old homes are abandoned, but all retain a gentle, clay-colored charm.

 

Zhujiayu doorway.

 

Abandoned house in Zhujiayu.

 

Weathered outer wall.

 

Arched alleyway.

 

In fact, the overgrown, enchanted quiet of the cemetery, one of the oldest in China, made it feel like a place where the dangers and worries of the outside world might not apply.

 

This old stone looked like it was still in use.

 

Back in Qingdao, Lacey and I took one of our regular tramps out the back door and up Fu Shan, our own local mountain with great views of the city.

Back in Qingdao, Lacey and I took one of our regular tramps out the back door and up Fu Shan, our own local mountain with great views of the city.

 

Late-day sun on Fu Shan.

 

More late-day sun on Fu Shan.

It was a good trip.

 

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