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Sailing in Qingdao with InternChina

InternChina – Boats

InternChina – Team Sailing

What better way to spend a brisk Saturday morning than a sail around Qingdao coast.
Like a worried mother I texted the interns in the a.m to wear warm waterproof clothes and rubber shoes so as not to slip and catch a cold.
Armed with a scarf, two jackets, sea sickness pills and a hangover we headed down to marina city in Qingdao where our Skipper Summer was waiting for us.
Realising that it was 25 degrees out we felt silly wearing all our layers, so we stowed them below deck and donned our sun tan lotion.
We smashed a champagne bottle and set off! Waving goodbye to the mass of Chinese people looking down to see us off, we all revelled in the sun, laying about deck looking forward to a quiet afternoon drifting on the ocean..

No sooner had we left the safety of the marina when Summer (a former Olympian who competed in the 2008 Beijing games and who still competes at a national level) was barking orders at us to hoist the stern to tack and whittle the spinnaker portside! It was this moment that I then wished I had brushed up on my sailing terminology….
Luckily one of our interns Lasse had some sailing experience so he lept to attention and started pulling on ropes and swashbuckling around the boat, we all looked on thankfully. However, Summer had plenty of jobs to give out; Jenny was in charge of steering, lasse with the main sail, Tine and Mandy taking turns controlling the Spinnaker, myself with the important task of sitting at the front like a fat Kate Winslet to make the boat go faster and Fabian’s job was to curl up in a ball and be sick.
We all knew our roles and did them well.

InternChina – Qingdao Coast

Once we had whizzed around the bay a couple of times, annoyed a few professional sailors and riding some waves we felt it time to go back. Summer dropped the Spinnaker and the boat cruised slowly back to port, we were taking pictures of the sunset soaked horizon and generally relaxing on the way.
All in all it was a great trip, (nearly) everyone had a wonderful time and we couldn’t have been luckier with the weather… lets hope we can make sailing a regular InternChina event!

InternChina – Sailors

Qingdao Blogs, Things To Do in Qingdao, Weekend Trips

Sailing in Qingdao

InternChina – Sailing Crew

InternChina – Skyline Qingdao

Since the Olympic Games in Beijing, Qingdao has become famous for Sailing activities. This led InternChina to organize a 3-hour sailing activity.
After a quick instruction of the two professional skippers we could board the ships. The majority of our small group had no previous experience in sailing before, so it was quite helpful that our sailors gave us a lot information about how to sail and everyone was more or less involved and had their own tasks to do.

But just in order to avoid any misunderstanding: we were definitely not too busy to enjoy the nice weather, the sea and the beautiful view of Qingdao’s skyline. After around 2 hours of sailing we stopped the boat in the middle of the sea and were allowed to jump into the sea. It was an amazing swim and – thank god – nobody got caught by a monster-jellyfish 🙂

What the Internchina interns were lucky enough to experienced is that Qingdao offers many possibilities of different kinds of water sports. Unfortunately, I am going to leave China in one week and I already know that I will miss the sea when I depart 🙁

InternChina – Boat
InternChina – Swimming Sailing Crew

Things To Do in Zhuhai

Roller Skating

Besides Badminton and Table Tennis, Roller-skating seems to be one of the Chinese national sports. Try not to look like an elephant on wheels next to the Chinese guys showing off all their tricks and skills to impress the girls! We tried and, of course, looked perfectly skilled and charming.In one of the big arcade halls in Qingdao we travelled back to the 80s with laser-lighted skating-rink, manic techno-beats and 4 wheels under our feet. After the first steps that looked pretty helpless we soon discovered some pros in our group. Either due to intensive skating experience in their childhood or secret practicing, two of the guys even managed the obstacles in the skating rink quite elegant. Somehow, the rest of us were busy keeping balance with flailing our arms and staying close to the side walls. Even with four wheels it is not as easy as it sounds, but after few rounds we all became saver on the skates. Still we looked relatively stupid compared to the agile Chinese guys. It was fun though and maybe next time we go there we can show off with some skills too!
See u,Franzi

Cultural, Qingdao InternChina Events

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting

Hey guys!
This sunday 4 braves (me, Franzi, Rita and Benjamin) decided to try out the Chinese mantis kung fu. The Northern Praying Mantis is a style of Chinese martial arts. It was created by Wang Lang and named after the praying mantis insect. The reason therefore is the similar hand posture.        So we met the kung fu teacher Mr Pan with his pupil Mr Xin near the beach for one and a half hours hard Bruce Lee training.

First of all Mr Pan showed us the moves we would learn (or should learn) and it was absolutely impressive to see a 58 years old, 1,60 meters small Chinese guy doing these powerful exercises. After that it was our turn and I think we did it pretty well for the first time, mainly because of Rita who always translated for us. After practicing alone for a while everybody got an opposer and it was time to ‘fight’. It was an absolutely effective self-defence-training. After an hour we stopped the training as the grils really destroyed our wrists… no seriously, when you practice the whole time how to break ones bones and wrists you need a break. So Mr Pan and Mr Xin showed us further close combat techniques and different kung fu-styles.

All in all it was really interesting to get a look into the Chinese martial arts and we’ll definitely train again!

Cheers, Phil

 

Cultural, Qingdao InternChina Events, Travel, Weekend Trips

Taishan- 7000 holy steps

Though there are many reasons to still be awake at 6:00am on Saturday, there is only one reason to wake up at that time – a train ride to Taishan. Blurry eyed and longing for a nap on the train or a vat of coffee, our group of interns assembled at the Railway Station at 6:30. By the time we had boarded the train at 6:55, we were already down a man from the original ten who had planned to come on the trip; a solemn text message was all we heard from the intern who had overslept.
After a quick three hour train ride (I was asleep) we arrived in Tai’an, the city nestled at the foot of Taishan, and hailed our taxis to take us to the bottom of the eastern route up the mountain. We paid our entrance fees – 127RMB, or 67RMB with a Student ID- then climbed the first set of stairs on our way to a total 7,200. The first part of the mountain is pretty average; it’s basically like any other stroll in the woods, if those woods were lined with souvenir shops. Taishan is a great place to get little gifts for friends and family back home because there are hundreds of shops selling all manner of “historical” Taoist and Chinese gifts. Unless you’re trying to buy a sword, most gifts can be bought for below 30RMB and many for as little as 2RMB. Souvenirs aren’t expensive on Taishan because the real money is made selling food and water. The closer we got to the top the more expensive subsistence items got; the highest price anyone tried to sell us a bottle of water for was the ridiculous sum of 20RMB for a half liter.

The real hiking on Taishan begins after the Middle Gate – it’s from this point that the peak taunts you, shouting obscenities at you like a crazy football parent. The most ridiculous part of the second half of the hike is that this is where the majority of the Chinese tourists join the game; having taken a fleet of buses up the first part of the mountain.  The trail becomes more and more crowded the closer you get to the peak and the rate of requests for ‘pictures with the foreigners’ increases tenfold. It is also on this part of the trail that lazy wealthy women pay 200RMB every 20 meters to be carried up the mountain in a chair so that they can feel like an empress for a day. This is particular disgusting when you realize that the last 30 minutes of the hike are a near vertical ascent up very narrow steps.

We reached the top about 4 and ½ hours after we had started from the bottom, and looked out across the valley of rolling hills and pot-hole lakes with a sense of pride and accomplishment. The beauty of Taishan cannot be fully appreciated until you look out upon the view from the top, it’s one of the most breathtaking sights in all of China, and makes you realize why over 6 million people travel to see it every year.  After pausing to take in the views for a couple hours and eating a relatively inexpensive meal at a restaurant in the mountain top village, we made our way to the hotel to turn in for the night so that we would be rested for the sunrise.

Once again, there are many reasons to still be awake at 5:00am on Sunday, but there is only one reason to wake up at that time – the historic Sunrise of Taishan. Along with around a thousand other tourists, most of whom were dressed in lovely green military jackets, we braved the morning wind and tried our best to keep warm until the sun came up. As the sun winked at us for the first time that day camera clicks and howls of joy could be heard from every direction.  If the weather grants you a perfect weekend there is no reason to climb Taishan without seeing the sunrise, every tired eye or aching leg is instantly cured once you see it.

The weekend was an excellent break from the urban landscape of Qingdao and provided all of us with a healthy dose of fresh air. If you get the chance to take a trip to Taishan before you leave, I know nine people who would highly recommend it.