On Thursday night we found out Drew and I didn't have any classes on Monday, so we decided it would be a perfect time for a much needed weekend getaway! We decided on Qingzhou, a small town (less than a million!) in our province. Qinzhou is known for it's it's beautiful "Chinese-looking" mountains and ancient buildings and villages.
Drew and I thought it would be fun to surprise the kids by having everything packed, and not telling them about the trip until we left for the train station. They didn't quite understand until we were actually on the train, but then they were SO excited! Qingzhou is only 20 minutes away by bullet train, so it was a quick trip on the train. We headed to the hotel, ate our lunches that we had packed, and decided to take a hike at a near by mountain.
The Yangtian Mountain, was absolutely breathtaking! the entire hike is constructed of old steps that lead to hidden treasures along the path. Gorgeous pavilions, trees laced with red ribbons and Buddha statues were around every turn.
Just before reaching the top of the mountain, there are beds carved into the mountain side, where guards would sleep, protecting either a temple or a prince that lived on the top of the mountain...we aren't quite sure! With language barriers, and Qingzhou being rarely visited by foreigners, it was difficult to learn all the history.
The last set of steps led us to a gorgeous view of Qingzhou and beautiful, traditional style old buildings. Although surrounded by so much beauty, the kids found and became very impressed with a "large freakin' hole" (Ellies words, not mine!) We spent WAY to much time admiring the hole and watching the kids jump in and out.
It was so fun to learn and see more about Chinese culture and I've learned I am a big fan of climbing mountains because I finally found an activity that will wear out my children!