Weekend Wanderings in Quanzhou
DISCLAIMER: This post does not contain any updates about students. So, if you are looking for info on the kids, you’ll have to wait until Monday, but if you want to hear what Martha and I did this weekend, read on.
We spent our weekend wandering around central Quanzhou, with a sidetrip away from downtown on Sunday. Saturday started with a walk up and down the main roads near our hotel. This area is fascinating, with nearly a dozen temples within walking distance of each other. Because Quanzhou was such a major trading port a thousand years ago, it has been a very cosmopolitan city for centuries. Religions and cultures from all over have happily coexisted here for a long time. In addition to the mosque and church we visited the other day, this weekend we stopped into Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian temples. Each has it’s own distinct flavor.
Just wandering the streets is interesting, with the wide variety of food and folks to see. The only drawback to wandering is that you have to cross the street. Traffic laws seem to be several years behind traffic in Quanzhou. It really is the wild west of vehicular transportation. The lines on the road don’t mean anything, and even when you’re on the sidewalk you have to dodge fast moving scooters, blasting their horns as they weave through the crowd. Imagine a light controlled rotary where no one pays attention to the lights and everyone goes whichever way around the rotary they like. That’s what the streets of Quanzhou are like. If that isn’t bad enough, most of the scooters, and some of the cars, don’t bother to turn their lights on at night.
Anyway, back to the daylight and meandering… On Sunday, after a stroll through East Lake Park in the morning, we hopped on a bus and headed to Luoyang, a suburb on the river, for a look at Luoyang Bridge. This bridge is made entirely of stone, and is nearly a thousand years old. Along the bridge there were lots of people hauling in their daily catch of oysters, a Luoyang specialty. We didn’t partake. Then it was back to town for more walking, and a great dinner at a Muslim restaurant. Overall, a nice, relaxing weekend. Here are just a few of the sights we saw.