The modern section of Qingdao, where our hotel was, is really not pedestrian-friendly. People park their cars on the sidewalk and you have to weave around the cars or step out in the street, dodging traffic. It made me conclude that Qingdao was a great place to visit, but I'm not sure I'd want to live there. It is beautiful, though. Walking through the hilly streets with Ross reminded me of our honeymoon in San Francisco. You could sit on the boardwalk at the harbor and imagine yourself at False Creek in Vancouver. There are plenty of Chinese-themed buildings, of course, including a beautiful temple we visited in the old section of town. But some are an intriguing combination of West and East, like the mansard-style roofs with Chinese tiles.
The hotel was decorated with lots of Chinese antiques but had a modern sensibility. We skipped dinner at the highly-rated restaurant attached to the hotel; it looked expensive and the food looked a little too haute for our tastes; what Ross and I call "precious." We got some of our meals from market carts, like squid on a stick, and took public transport instead of taxis whenever we could figure out where to go and sometimes even when we couldn't.
Sometimes just drifting around leads you to unexpected pleasures, like the ramble we took through a park which led us to the hilltop site of the old observatory built by the Germans, now an uber-cool youth hostel. A few steps further and we came to a very eclectic coffee shop, so we paused for a cold drink and to admire the view from their hilltop patio. And to sneak a photo of their sign.