I’ve been living in Xiamen for 17 years and I’ve visited Gulangyu over a hundred times over the years, but there are places on both islands that I still have to see.
So I was glad to get to the top of Sunlight Rock for the first time yesterday and be able to take pictures of the southern part of Xiamen island and the view of Gulangyu taken from the top of Sunlight Rock.
As we arrived there early, we were able to avoid the crowds of tourists that started to come around lunch time when we had already walked over 7km.
I was also able to get inside the Christ the King church which had to be unlocked by a kind lady who asked me if I was from the Philippines and did I want to pray.
It had been awhile since I last came, so I was happy to be able to come to this church again where I came to hear mass every week for years.
You can come to Gulangyu by ferry from Youlun Zhongxin (for tourists) and tickets cost 35RMB. (Thankfully we have a card that shows we work in Xiamen, and so we pay the local’s fare of 8RMB and get on a different ferry that is not crowded at all!)
We spent one morning on Gulangyu and walked for over 9km.
But surprisingly, I wasn’t tired at all.
If you’re ever in Xiamen, you can’t miss Gulangyu. It is truly worth a visit.
We went to Gulangyu this morning, and I was able to visit places that I had never been to before.
One of these places was the museum that one could go in for free. It doesn’t seem to be a very popular place (there were thousands of tourists outside but less than 50 people inside this 3-story museum), so it was nice to walk around and learn about the history of this tiny island.
I took a picture of this statue of General Zheng as I liked the contrast of darkness and light where it stood. It was dark coming from the left side, but there was light coming from the window to the right. I thought it was the perfect location.
As a general he probably went through many times of choosing between darkness and light.
At least that’s what I saw/thought of it. Or maybe I am just overthinking again!
There is something about the countryside that is so relaxing. Though it doesn’t give me the same sense of serenity I get from sitting on a quiet beach, being in the countryside still feels like taking a break from the busy-ness of life.
The picture above is of a rice farm in Northern Mindanao, Philippines. I was on my way to the airport when I saw this farm. The sky was so blue with some white clouds, and the hills in the distance so green — I just thought it was so beautiful. I asked the driver to stop the car, and I got out and saw this farmer. I asked him if I could take a picture of him, and he said it was OK.
Then I got back in the car, and went to the airport and back to my busy life. But this picture always gives me that feeling of wanting even a quick break from life and its worries.
I had the same feeling visiting my cousin’s uncle’s farm in Alberta, Canada. After a 12-hour flight and then wandering around Vancouver, it was relaxing to not see people and rest the eyes and the soul by just watching green grass, blue sky, white clouds and farm animals!
I love looking up at the sky, whether in the day time or at night. I often wonder what it’s like up there looking down, (which is why I follow NASA and the International Space Station on social media.)
To me the sky or whatever is up (or out) there is magical.
Sometimes when I am going through a difficult time, I only have to go to a quiet place — by the lake, on a quiet beach, or my balcony and look up at the sky and remind myself of the vastness of the universe and the minuteness of my life and worries.