It was wonderful to receive such a heartwarming welcome from Team Q! You all are great! Your invitation to make Jinan my second home is touching and I thank all of you for your warm greeting.
During this trip, I spent most of my time in Shandong Province. I visited the Shandong Provincial Museum and had the good fortune to be provided a guided tour, arranged by the museum’s project manager. A tip for international travelers; bring your passport. It is required for ticket purchase and entry.
Recently, the museum, with the help of philanthropist Ken Behring, established an Africa project. Behring is an avid life-long hunter and many of the taxidermy pieces were donated from his collection. This project is very well done with interactive points along the walk for kids to engage in learning-play and I am informed that the space in which this exhibition resides was otherwise dead/wasted space within the building. Very creative use of square footage and a terrific attraction for youngster who may never have a chance to see African critters up close.
Shandong Museum also has a very good collection of ancient artifacts from various periods. There are weapons, ceremonial items and utilitarian tools.
The ancient Buddha sculpture pictured above has an intriguing history. My guide shared with me that the piece was discovered a few decades ago in London. Unbeknownst to the curator of that London museum the piece had been stolen many years ago. When informed of the situation, an agreement was procured for a sharing arrangement between the rightful owners and the party that had been duped.
At the modest Shandong Art Museum home to over 500 modern pieces and more than 2,000 regional folk art pieces. I enjoyed many very beautiful contemporary porcelain pieces by Artist – Pan Lu Sheng
One afternoon the weather was quite pleasant so we took a short drive out of town- 45 Km. east of Jinan, to the village of Zhujiayu, at the foot of Hu Mountain. This is an historic preservation site which traces human activity back to the Xia and Shang dynasties (2070 B.C.- 1600 B.C. and 1600 B.C. – 1046 B.C. respectively)
During this late summer visit the weather was warmer than my visit in April. Perhaps still a bit too warm for my liking, but the evenings were beginning to cool quickly as the sun retired. It was especially nice to see the abundance of squash, gourds and melons harvested at this season’s end. I think October might be better temperatures for traveling next year.