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Old March 9th, 2012, 11:59 PM   #341
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given the temeperature the only way to cope was to keep moving. No rest, no break in the small teahouse or souvenir shop. Just keep moving, moving at any price.



I was stupid enough to put off my gloves for a few seconds This was a tragic mistake...



fortunately it was not all about standing still in order to take photographs

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Old March 10th, 2012, 12:04 AM   #342
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there were also opportunities to go sled riding or even downhill skiing
of course the vertical drop was not as spectacular, maybe some 30m. But a welcome diversion in China

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Old March 22nd, 2012, 11:49 PM   #343
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A short interruption for Harbin.

Next city I am going to show is quite similar to Harbin, at least in two respects: a very young city founded in the late 19th century plus a huge portion of colonial buildings



Its "Qingdao". The most German city in the world.



Most major German towns got bombed in WW2 and in case the Allies had mercy or done their job inefficiently, the German themselves destroyed a lot of their charming architecutre in the 1950s and 1960s "Wirtschaftswunder" by replacing old timber houses with disgusting cardboard boxes.

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Old March 22nd, 2012, 11:56 PM   #344
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Qingdao, however is different. There were a lot of problems in China in the 20th century but Qingdaos architecture was mostly not affected. Even better, the Chinese soon realized the German talent for engineering and kept everything like it was. The sewage systems, streets and houses still date from the early 20th century, at least in the ancient German district.



This German area is quite spread out occuping two hills close to 100 meters high. A bizarre place, a mixture of Stuttgart 2012 and Leipzig in 1990. Most of the buildings remain unrestored and give this place a East German, DDR-like charm. WOW.



Qingdao is Germany being conserved for over 100 years, a living museum. For me it is one of the most interesting cities in China.

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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:00 AM   #345
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It however still is a Chinese citiy. At least 90 percent of it look like that. This was taken in the outskirts near our hotel



There was an amazingly big nightlife district near to it. As you might know, Chinese are not so into Western nightlife and Qingdao cannot be compared to Beijing or Shanghai anyway



2.5 million people life in the city center alone. It is still growing and expanding at a high pace. A new economical area including an ultramodern skyline is currently being constructed. This is the "ancient" skyline, mostly done in the 1990s

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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:03 AM   #346
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Qingdao derives its charme from its location next to the sea.



It has six beaches to offer which are excelllent by Chinese standards (otherwise avoid Chinese beaches except the ones in Southern Hainan)



Lets get back to the German area
This was the German city council between 1898 and 1920

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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:06 AM   #347
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The church, erected in 1911. We will get there later



While I guide you through the old town some facts about the Germans.



After Germany had become a belated superpower in the late 19th century, it soon realized that it was in urgent need to acquire some colonies abroad like its neighbours. Qingdao was nothing special, just a small fishing village on the Chinese coast.

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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:10 AM   #348
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but it was enough to satisfy the nationalist pride of the German population and was regarded as a strategically important: a natural harbour close to Beijing



The Germans never made it far from Qingdao in China. As long as the time being, Qingdao was a tiny German outpost , comparable to places like Macao or Gibraltar.



The Germans still have a very good image among the local population. The reason is clear: the archtiecture is still omnipresent, the infrastructure is still functioning.

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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:17 AM   #349
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but the purges remain invisibile. Germany did not treat its people much better than its English or French counterparts. It was one of the nations brutally fighting against the Boxer uprising in 1901.



After having lost the WW1 things got even worse when the Japanese took over the city and claimed it to be Japanese. As you might know Japanese and Chinese are not the best friends in history, mildly speaking...



Qingdao finally became a Chinese city after WW2 and is now firmly integrated into the Peoples Republic and has become a typically Chinese city

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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:20 AM   #350
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We spent three days there in October 2010 and enjoyed very wonderful. This btw was done for a TV commercial




the first day we spent almost entirely doing photographs in the German district




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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:24 AM   #351
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this is one of 2 Qingdaos major hills



the small shops and markets are typically Chinese



I think this was the German governors residence

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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:27 AM   #352
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finally, some "no-comment" - pics from the church

1


2


3


4
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:29 AM   #353
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5



6



7



8

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Old March 31st, 2012, 12:02 AM   #354
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some more pictures from Qingdaos German district (no comments, I am too lazy)





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Old March 31st, 2012, 12:05 AM   #355
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Old March 31st, 2012, 12:07 AM   #356
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Old March 31st, 2012, 12:11 AM   #357
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123
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Old March 31st, 2012, 12:15 AM   #358
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German Japanese restaurant



the German governors palace, now accomodating a museum and the aforementioned Ratskeller restaurant



a lof old black and whites from Qingdaos German period

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Old March 31st, 2012, 12:18 AM   #359
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inside the museum

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Old March 31st, 2012, 12:19 AM   #360
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