This Qingming festival I went on my first flower tour with OK, Deal!
Spring is here already and the countryside is becoming alive again after the long winter! Tired of the stressed and polluted Shanghai life we took the bus on the 2nd of April (as well as all population in China...!) and headed to our destination.
Despite all the bad weather forecast we were lucky enough to have a little bit of sun and only heavy rain in one of the days.
This time we were around 30 people, some families, a lot of children, some impatient babies and young handsome people! ;)
Let me guide you through all the trip:
Waking up very early was not enough to escape the traffic of whole people trying to runaway from Shanghai!
After a few more hours on the bus than what expected, we arrived for a late lunch and went rafting on bamboo boats, each of us with its tiny little chair!
It was a long trip that gave us enough time to enjoy the landscape, nature and the sunset!
After that we had dinner at the hotel and bonfire party, free drinks, marshmallows and time to get to know each other a bit better!
Rainy day!! In the morning we almost saw the sun..!
Good enough to take the bus to the rapeseed flowers field and enjoy the landscape, thousands of possible photos...romantic ones, funny and specially the number one bestseller...selfies!
It's an amazing time of the year to visit this kind of fields, everywhere you look you get an amazing view, and somehow the flower blossom gives you the hope of the good weather to come leaving the sad long winter behind. It's one of the good things about the seasons...makes you realize that life never stops, it's always in continuous transformation and change...and so are you!
In the afternoon we all went cycling. A lot of us chose the double funny bike covered with a cute white and red stripped fabric...in case of rain...! Good we did it even if the storm we got was way too much for that little piece of fabric! The sightseeing was nice although it was a pity the weather didn't help much but still enough to enjoy a bit of exercise!
On the way to the hotel we found this warehouse that produced an huge amount of wood 'hello's, which turned out to be an amazing success among the foreigners! I have one sitting on my desk at home looking at me from the other side of the room right now...(an hello, not a foreigner...!)
In the evening we had dinner at the hotel followed by another bonfire party...amazing Bollywood class and a bit of basketball!
On our last day in Xianju we went for a hiking in a mountain very near the hotel.
For the first time I saw the most similar to our cemeteries, a few graves spread around the mountain filled with (plastic) flowers, tradition of the Qingming festival in China, tomb sweeping festival, equivalent to our 1st of November in Portugal.
We went up the mountain first with a soft steps hiking, passing through some temples, followed by a wildest hiking, guided by one of our trip members, the fearless, the one and only Charlotte 'the American explorer'! Thanks to Charlotte (the American explorer) we ended up discovering this amazing spot that had a path attached to a much higher mountain with a glass floor, connected to the valley through a huge slide that finished in a gold dragon head. Pity some of us didn't have enough time to visit it...!
It's very interesting to notice that nowadays, specially in big cities like Shanghai, what separates us from the others and from the world is a screen, iPhone, iPad, laptop... The way we relate and get to know people became completely different and most of us don't know anymore how to connect with others in real life.
For me besides getting to know new places, leave the city for awhile and travel, this trips are all about the people you meet and how you can relate to them in the most basic way of communication, talking and listening face to face. I'm very lucky to say that I always meet very interesting people in all this trips, who end up becoming some of my best friends in this journey in Shanghai, so thank you for that Ok deal! ;)