We came back to reality today as the four day Tomb-Sweeping Holiday ended. Every year on the 15th day from the Spring Equinox, the Chinese honor their ancestors by (literally) sweeping their tombs, offering food, and burning replicated luxuries such as money or designer bags. It’s a big deal here, and in the surrounding countries as well. We took the time off of school to travel around Dalian and really get a feel for the city we are living in.
On Friday, we went to Labor Park to try out Eurobake, the American restaurant that ALL of the interns rave about. (Okay, so if you’re an intern and you’re reading this…it’s true. Their food is amazing). Labor Park itself is absolutely gorgeous; it has the huge soccer ball and a little carnival area. We didn’t get to see much because we arrived too late, but we do plan on returning soon.
On Saturday, we went to Olympic Square and walked around the Olympic 66 Mall. It wasn’t the best mall we’ve been to, but it did have a skating rink! Fun fact: nearly every big mall/business has a grocery store in it. I think it’s really interesting.
On Sunday, we rode a bus all the way to the Dalian Forest Zoo. We had quite a bit of difficulty trying to find the entrance, but it was worth the trouble. It is HUGE! We were there for three hours and didn’t even see half of the animals. There are some big differences between the Dalian Zoo and the zoos back in America. I was mostly shocked by how close we were to the animals. I am pretty sure the giraffes, zebras, tigers, and the bears could have all jumped out of their exhibits. While I feared for my safety, it was so amazing seeing them up close. Another big difference is the abundance of animals. All of the zoos I have been to have only had one or two of each animal, whereas the zoo here had up to twenty or thirty.
On Monday, we went to Xinghai Square and watched the sunset on the beach. When the sun went down, it was freezing so we walked over the Castle Hotel and looked around. It was beautiful, and we even got to see a bride and groom taking their wedding photos! This was definitely my favorite adventure of the weekend.
On Tuesday we did a little shopping and prepared to get back into the school routine. I really enjoyed the time we had to explore, and I can’t wait for the 10 day break coming up at the end of this month!
Until next time,