Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday at Gulangyu

[We've decided that Mimi's posts will be in red type, so you can tell who it is! I'll keep the boring black type! (Apologies to the color-blind!) BTW, Yu= Island, so we either went to Gulang Island, or Gulangyu, but a lot of people say in English Gulangyu Island! -- MS]

Our day started bright and early. We all awoke with the birds and were out of the house by 7:30. We walked to the bus stop and rode to the ferry. I am glad I don’t have to drive in this city. The bravest goes first, and they must have good brakes!

The ferry ride was short, maybe 5 to 10 minutes. It was crowded even at this early hour. I think everything is crowded here. We meandered through narrow streets trying to find a large church and never found it. After many turns and help from a very nice lady we arrived at the Art Institute that I really wanted to see. We were lucky to find a couple of classes with students working on their art work. They were as excited to see us as we were to find them. They were working on “Paper Cuts”. It was lovely. Here is an example of what we saw there. Even the frames were made of paper.
I would like to go back on a weekday to be able to see other art classes in session.

We walked on a street where we could see the beach. The girls had to go walk on the sand.

We then walked some more just enjoying the scenery. There are many large houses that were built in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. People still live in them, but they are multi-family apartments now. Most are in disrepair since maintenance of buildings is not a priority here.

As we were walking and taking loads of pictures we often heard piano music. Some sounded like accomplished pianists, others were obviously beginners. This island is also known as the “Piano Island”. When the missionaries arrived here they brought pianos to have in each church to accompany them when they taught hymns. There is also a “Piano Museum” but we wimped out and were too tired to find it. We definitely have to go back. We had lunch on the third floor of a building with a view of the harbor and Xiamen. At the end of our trip we walked through a couple of shopping street. Like most stores in such places it was a tourist trap. We did buy paper hats for the girls. They were happy with our purchase but too tired to show it.

These girls are truly amazing. They go along with the flow. They eat anything you put in front of them. At lunch today they ate an entire steamed fish that was almost a foot long. Of course they did not eat the head, nor the tail, but still it was a lot of fish. Even though I know they were tired at the end of the day, we had no crying, no melt down. Like I said, “Amazing little girls”.

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