Originally, when I planned my travel, after the two metropolices (Beijing and Shanghai) I wanted to have a rest at a place which is at the seaside, has beaches and good for relaxing.

My friends advised me to go to Qingdao and since its somewhere between the two huge cities I decided to listen to them. And almost everything is like I imagined:)

If I wanna simplify the things I can say Beijing is like a historical city with a lot of traditional buildings and a real capital with very wide avenues. Shanghai is rather a commercial center, a real modern city with its high buildings and high-tech features. And Qingdao is somehow a piece of Europe in Asia.

It was a former German colony before, and they built a lot of houses there which made me feel like being in Europe. When I arrived it was foggy and rainy but very soon became sunny and hot and having that fresh wind from the sea the climate is really like at home on a hot summer day.

The other thing which was a surprise to me that here are NO bicycles. After the `invasion` of bikes in Beijing and Shanghai its a strange experience to see a Chinese city without them:) The reason is maybe that Qingdao has a lot of hills. You would have to ride up and down a lot. Plus their roads are more narrow maybe due to the European style in the older downtown.

I love places at the seaside. When I was child we had been living in Mohacs for like 3 years and that town is at the river Duna having a tradition of fishing and everything connected to water. Maybe from this time is that I feel a special attraction toward the seaside cultures. The wind from the sea or at the river. That special smell of fishes and all seafoods. The noise of the sea and when during the evening in the more calm waves at the port you can hear how the boats are hitting gentle each other. Just like saying to each other: hey...dont sleep yet.:)

Qingdao is surrounded by hills and mountains. The mountain Laoshan is the main attraction here and its really special with its strange round rocks, and being there I felt like being on a traditional old Chinese painting.

Qingdao has an old downtown and a new one. I was wrong only in one thing when I imagined it before. I expected a small town with quiet environment but it seems I neglected the fact that I was in China. Qingdao has like 7 million (others say 9 million) inhabitants which is like the 2\3 of my whole country. So the beach on the weekend looks like you cant see the sea because of the lot of people in it. The eastern part of the city after the new modern downtown - which looks like Beijing`s downtown with its wide avenues - is like a paradise. There beaches are less crowded and dirty and leaving that area to the east again you get to Laoshan which is beautiful with its narrow mountain roads, having the hills on your left side and the sea with very old boats in the bays.