Up and at it this morning - Off to see the Confucious Temple and Mansion. Confucious was born into a noble family in 551BC on September 28th. His father was 64 and his mother in her 20's. He married at 19 and had 1 son; all the temples were built after his death as the Emperors all respected the Kong family and built pavillions and temples to Confucious. From the 44th descendant to the 77th, the title of Duke Yantsen has been given to each of the descendants. The last descendant lived at the mansion in 1924. At the beginning of the Republic of China, the last descendant left with Chiang Kai Shek and there are now the 78 and 79th descendants living in Taiwan. On his Birthday, there is a huge celebration every year in Qufu.
After leaving the Confucious Mansion, we drove 1 and 1/2 hours to Taian (another modern city of 5 million). We stopped in the city at a dumpling restaurant for lunch (KFC was across the street!) But the dumplings were good. To another grocery store for snacks - 4 bottles of water, 2 packs of cookies and 3 bananas for 14.60yuan - $1.82!
Tai Shan is the most venerated of China's 5 sacred mountains. It is the most easterly and it was believed that the sun began it's westerly journey from it's peak. It's 7,000 steps from the bottom of the mountain to our hotel and even our "young" walkers didn't want to do that. At the half way mark, half of us took the cable car and the young ones walked up 3,000 steps to the hotel. The cable car ride was beautiful - breathtaking scenery. When we arrived at the summit, we still had 392 steps up to the hotel. Even that was rough!! Decent hotel and dinner here tonight. I didn't enjoy the food - duck, bony beef chunks in veggies and 3 kinds of tofu plus all the regulars - bok choy, rice and one good dish with tomatoes and cooked egg, nuts, cabbage, etc., etc. The view from the hotel is gorgeous and we have a 4:45 am wake up to see the sunrise. There's great big green Chinese Army coats in the room to be worn in the morning - temperature is predicted to be 54 and really windy..