Qingdao Behring Natural History Museum

The Qingdao Behring Natural History museum is nestled in the lovely Childrens Park, an unassuming building, nearly camouflaged with its natural landscape. As an avid museum-goer, I definitely wasn’t expecting the American Natural History Museum (New York) or even the Natural History Museum in San Diego. But this is definitely a great place to experience, especially for kids and families. The fun activities range from VR viewfinders to interactive displays, with individual rooms to view videos or relax as mesmerizing jellies float down a wall (via projection screen). Best of all, you can view your favorite animals up close and personal–observe in fear and awe, the penetrative gaze of predator and prey in their static stance, the meticulous care and preservation to keep these creatures alive (even in death).

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On this night, I was pressured to sing sang “Hey, Jude” at an Unplugged event with a cool group of dudes and it was a lovely, cinematic karaoke moment for me that will probably never happen again. The bar had emptied out to a few patrons, and liquid courage made me do it. Also, I was pretty much pulled on stage and didn’t wanna be a Debbie downer 🤣

Autumn

My other favorite equinox has a relatively short timespan here –the vibrant colors seem to fully emerge in mid-November, only to be violently erased by the disapproving winds of winter. These photos were kinda taken at the wrong time–hunting autumnal splashes amid stripped groves, and missing out on capturing the mellow yellow maple lined street in all its golden glory (last photo). Most of the leaves were probably not even yellow anyway ( making myself feel better).

Jazz Fusion

  1. 1907 is a century-old historical German building located in Old Town, which served as Qingdao’s first movie theater. Personally reminiscent of Gaslamp and other historical structures in San Diego, this beautiful, multi-leveled building has been restored and repurposed as restaurant and entertainment venue, consisting of a high curved ceiling, balcony seating, and gorgeous Art Deco interior. Additionally, 1907 also houses a bookstore, Coffee shop and film museum (wish it was more interactive). On this particular evening, we caught Marutyri’s amazing Fusion Jazz show and our auditory senses were excitedly heightened and harmonized by a beer buzz as we “joined” the Netherlands band, and jammed along with our “awesome” air guitar and air drumming.

Such Great Heights

Happy accident. I initially intended to visit the observation deck of TV tower (middle pic), but immediately lost myself in a labyrinth of meandering autumn-lined dusty roads, as I traversed through warm bits of nature, over creaky wooden decks, clumsy stone staircases, and somehow wound up here, at the entrance of a cable car railway.

The price was pretty hefty for such a brief trip. But the views were definitely worth it. This railway is comprised of two routes–the first overlooks an easily distinguishable traditional temple ( forgot the name!), starkly contrasted to its backdrop of City Center’s somewhat modernized skyline and the sea. The second route delightfully descends into Zhongshan Park, on the opposite end of TV tower.

Unlike today’s lazy hazy opaque sky, the sky and sea was bountifully blue, illustrating this city’s trademark: blue sea and sky, red-tiled roofs, and natural greenery. I shakily let go of the handlebar, and reclined against the curved seating. I breathed deeply as my mind wrestled with its fear of heights and yearning for peace. When the cable car reached its highest point, the skyscrapers gleamed in the striking sunlight and the shimmering sea glimmered in the distance as my legs dangled below and I dreamily floated over the beautiful scenery with a cool breeze gently sweeping across my face. Those messy thoughts of fear and doubt suddenly dissolved, and once again I found clarity. This was freedom. Except with restraints. Sorta freedom. But it was perfect.