"well-known scenic spot with intoxicating appeal"

Trip Start Dec 26, 2006
Trip End Jan 15, 2007

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Flag of China  ,
Wednesday, January 10, 2007

     The little-noted town stands on the northern shore of the Quanzhou Bay facing the Taiwan islands.  It's surrounded by water on three sides.  The area is known for its stone sculptures.  Not surprisingly then, Chongwu has got a "Stone Carving Exhibition Garden"...or, as we called it, a statue park.  Many of these stone figures stand gazing out at the sea.  I frolicked about taking a liberal amount of photos and gazing at the statues in question.  Actually I found it quite wonderful. 
      And now here I sit in commercialized Starbucks.  I look out the window and see a jumble of buildings, cars, and concrete.  The coffee is delicious and the ambiance is fair.  Yet I wish myself transported back to holiday.  If only one could live permanently in holiday.  Oh wait, I sorta did for three years.
   Back to Chongwu...yes, lovely.  It's got one of the best preserved city walls in all of china.  The walls were built in 1387 to defend against the Japanese.  We wandered (of course, one must always wander) through the old part of the city.  Like Gulangyu the streets were extremely narrow.  But, Chongwu wasn't ever a foreign concession: no European architecture here.  It felt laid-back and aged.  Indeed, there seemed many elderly people about.  And, we did stumble upon a great oldish, columned community  center with elderly scattered about the porch absorbed in mah jong and cards.
     While walking down the road we passed a man, who, without breaking stride, called to us "hi!  Where are you come from?"
     "America" Martin tossed over his shoulder
     "What city?" asked the man, even further away
     "Indiana" Martin replied.  The man said something else, which I can't recall, already so far away.
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