Our memorable travels in local Shandong Province, accompanied by my parents, began in this ancient and revered Chinese town, birthplace of Confucius over 2,500 years ago.

We are big fans of round doorways.

We are big fans of round doorways.

 

A side gate of the ancient Confucius temple.

A side gate of the ancient Confucius temple.

 

The temple complex is simple and serene.

The temple complex is simple and serene.

 

Confucius temple bridge.

 

Temple pillar detail.

 

Tourists sillhouetted on the very platform Confucius once taught from, well before Jesus was born.

Tourists sillhouetted on the platform Confucius once taught from, hundreds of years before Jesus was born.

 

It's said that the temple pillars had to be draped in fabric when the Emperor visited, so he would not be jealous because they were more beautifully carved than those in the Forbidden City.

It’s said that the temple pillars had to be draped in fabric when the Emperor visited, so he would not be jealous because they were more beautifully carved than those in the Forbidden City.

 

Late-afternoon skyline.

 

These fellas are guarding Confucius' tomb.

These fellas are guarding Confucius’ tomb.

 

With a little help.

With a little help.

 

In fact, an entire 500-acre cemetery is devoted to the descendants of Confucius, their tombs scattered through the woods and protected by all kinds of creatures.

In fact, an entire 500-acre cemetery is devoted to the descendants of Confucius, their tombs scattered through the woods and protected by all kinds of creatures.

 

Like this little guy.

 

And this one.

 

This horse was life-size!

 

Hamming it up in the cemetery . . .

Hamming it up in the cemetery . . .

 

. . . with Dad.

. . . with my dad (feeding the horse).

 

We just didn't want to get this guy mad.

We just didn’t want to get this guy any madder than he was.

 

A Viking-like foreboding.

 

In fact, the overgrown, enchanted quiet of the cemetery, one of the oldest in China, made it feel like a place where the dangers and worries of the outside world might not apply.

In fact, the overgrown, enchanted quiet of the cemetery, one of the oldest in China, made it feel like a place where the dangers and worries of the outside world might not apply.

 

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