I've had some time to kill after ending my time in Dalian. So I decided to re-visit the city where I first studied in China two years ago. Going to a city specifically to play tourist turns out to be MUCH different than living/studying there. Here's some of the sights:
Our first day we walked along the coast for about 8-10 miles. We also spent several of our evenings by the sea near the old area of town. Because hello trendy pictures :)
Mount Lao is where Daoism was founded (hence the yin/yang symbol in the temple below). There are three areas to ascend, and this one -- known for the waterfalls -- was all new to me.
Old German Buildings
I had known about the first church pictured below and the brewery, but I had NO IDEA this area of town was so cool! I know these types of areas in Chinese cities represent a bad piece of history regarding colonialism for China but....they're pretty. We got a little tourist map that had a lot of these buildings on it and spent a considerable amount of time wandering around the area trying to find as many as we could. A really fun scavenger hunt.
We also got a lot of Starbucks. And muffins. And ice cream. My traditionally appalling sense of direction was also not as bad as usual since I had been here before. So that's encouraging!
Overall, my eyes were opened up to some of the more beautiful parts of the city I had missed the first time around, and for that I am thankful. It's interesting to see a place you spent a lot of time in your past through new eyes. I didn't realize my eyes would feel that way. New, I mean. But I guess in two years we all change some, even if we're not realizing it.