On Saturday our hosts arranged to take us to the Yellow Sea for a seaside excursion. The drive was not far. After a stretch of lowlands we crossed the largest sea water dam in China which connects an island to the mainland. The island rose dramatically from the sea and the winding road took us to the top of the hills. When we were near the summit they paid an entrance fee and we proceeded. We reached a parking area and proceeded down a lush hillside 240 steps to a nice sandy beach. There were the ubiquitous plastic chairs and permanent thatched shade structures. Our male hosts were in dress slacks and dress shoes,our female host in a skirt,her 11 year old son and the driver came prepared to swim. I at least had shorts on. My two fellow teachers both managed swim trunks. Happily it was not too hot so we enjoyed a pleasant time.
A few observations--many of the Chinese in the water wore bright orange life jackets rented from a concession--the life guards were bundled up as if it were very cool--a motorboat and jetski--offered rides, for a fee, zooming in and out of the swiming area.
Around 1:00 we climbed back up the hill ( an Anna-worthy climb) and piled back into the van. We drove into the port cityand found lunch. Again a massive quantity of food 8 or 9 dishes. We then went on to the actual port itself. Our host ran into a building and got permission for us to drive into the actual working part of the port. It was pretty fascinating--endless containers from all over the world--massive ranes on tracks loading and unloading cargo. The port is one of the largest in China. it is the easternmost terminus of the the Eurasia land bridge which has continuous rail service to Russia and then on all the way through Europe to Holland. It was opened in 1996. The proximity to South Korea and Japan make it a very convenient international port.
On our way home we stopped at the Ganyu Museum and spent an hour with one of our very knowledgeable hosts. Ganyu is a very old place and traces its history back 5000 years. It was visited by Confucius.
Then on to dinner--another massive meal--just when we thought it was over more dishes arrived.