This weekend one of my fellow teacher friends was visiting me, so we went to the San Kong (the three Confucius sites in Qufu). The temple and mansion were okay, but my favorite site was the graveyard. Confucius and several thousand of his descendants are buried in this ancient forest. It is still used as a cemetery - we even saw a couple fresh burial mounds. The Confucius graveyard is the least-manicured natural place I have visited in China. You can actually walk among the trees, feeling the leaves crunch beneath your feet as you wander past ancient, leaning tombstones. We happened upon a section with stone animals guarding graves, the grass growing up around them. We walked for a half hour at a time without seeing another person.
It was a peaceful, reflective atmosphere -- a wonderful place to spend a warm October day.