[posted on behalf of Abby D.]
Yesterday was mostly a travel day. After a free morning in Beijing, we headed to the brand new and very impressive Beijing South Railway Station to board a high speed train to Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province. The three hour ride was very comfortable and offered excellent views of the countryside as we traveled south. We saw many contrasting scenes: groups of small traditional homes with tall, newly built apartment buildings in the background; piles of rubble from demolished homes among a sea of cranes and other construction equipment; dirt roads in close proximity to wide, multi-lane paved roads — many signs of change and new development. The farm land was beautiful. We recognized corn, lotus, soybeans and rice. Huajing let us know that peanuts are also a staple crop in Shandong. As we approached Jinan we crossed the Yellow River, China’s second largest river.
After dinner, a two-hour bus ride brought us to Qufu, birthplace of Confucius. Tomorrow we will explore this small town and learn about China’s great sage.
Photos: 1) Nancy and Anne, 2) Erika and Nancy