The night before, a kind stranger had let me know (via a notice in our elevator) that our water would be off from 10pm to 6am. The times were written in English, so I felt confident that I understood. Unfortunately, when Ian tried to shower at quarter after nine, the water was already off. And when we tried to take showers a few minutes after six in the morning, it still wasn't on. It came back on as we were leaving. So, we went to Mt. Tai a bit stinky and sticky.
Regardless, it was a wonderful trip. One of the most beautiful places I've seen. And the air! So clean! I wanted to stay up there. Fortunately, it rained back in Jinan today, so the air is much cleaner than it has been (right around 100). It's also downright cool outside. I even had to put on a sweatshirt when we got back. Fall is here! Unfortunately, it might not be here to stay, because it's going to jump back up to 80 on Saturday. But it'll be in the low to mid 70s all week.
Our school paid for the whole trip (including a buffet lunch), so Ian and I were able to get a couple of souvenirs:
Mount Tai is one of the "Five Great Mountains". It is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal, and is often regarded the foremost of the five. Mount Tai has been a place of worship for at least 3,000 years and served as one of the most important ceremonial centers of China during large portions of this period... According to historical records, Mount Tai became a sacred place haunted by emperors to offer sacrifices and meditate in the Zhou Dynasty before 1,000 BC. A total of 72 emperors were recorded as visiting it. Men of letters also came to acquire inspiration, to compose poems, write essays, paint and take pictures. Hence, a great many cultural relics were left on the mountain.