Anthony's Interesting Times 2004 travel blog

Front Gate Kong Family Mansion Qufu

Kong Family Mamsion, Qufu

Gravestone in spooky 2,500 year old Kong Family Forest Cemetery

Guardian outside Confucius' tomb in the Forest Cemetery, Qufu

Got up and put on my weird peanut smelling lotion I bought for my sunburn. So last night I did some clever planning that I thought may avoid another bad train expereice, only to find that when I went to the train station this morning they said no to all my options. Trouble is (as I learnt in Beijing, and it says in my guidebook) I don't know whether to believe them. So at least sticking with part of the plan, I got a minibus to Qufu (pronounced Choofoo, sort of). Birth and resting place of Confucius and the whole Kong family (his descendants ever since, 2,500 years until Mao threw them out).

The minibus was quite amusing, chaotic bus station, but the driver was really pissing off the passengers waiting for a full bus, and then would give in to the hassle, drive off, and then just go back round the block again. He did this about three times until we were full, and then really hacked them off when we got to Qufu by stopping right outside my hotel (coincidentally) and not going to the bus station. A number of them refused to get off, so he just walked off and left them. They are not necessarily a very chilled culture, contrary to popular belief.

Anyway, checked in etc, and then off to the bus station to fiind there are no buses to any of the places I want to go, and the nearest train station, as I already knew, is in another town. Bugger, it may have to be long-distance hard-seat again after all, tomorrow will tell!

Anyway, I had a really very pleasant day, all the Confucius stuff was very chilled and very beautiful. First the huge family temple, the Kong Mansion where 77 generations lived in increasing strangeness for 2,500 years, and then to the Kong Forest Cemetery, where they have all been buried ever since. The last was a particularly good crack, as I got another pushbike and rode around it (it is a very big forest). It was very overgrown and atmospheric and more than a little spooky.

And then one of the hotel receptionists wallked me all the way to this obscure internet place, I think she thought it was much easier than trying to give me directions.

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