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Friday, April 20, 2012

Homeward bound

It feels like I've been gone a month! However, tonight we head back to the states, arriving in LA before we leave Shanghai. Yeah, crossing the international dateline messes with the space time continuum.

I'll write up some more experiences when I Get home to a normal internet connection. For now, more pictures. These are from a walk in the Pudong side of Shanghai on Thursday as well as a long walk through the French Concession (Eastern), Xintandi, and People's Square yesterday. We went to the Bund again at night since it was nearby.

For our last day, we are checking out of the hotel and going to try and go up in pearl tower to the observation deck.

See you back in the states!

One of many awesome statues in Jing'an Park
The beautiful tree-lined streets of the French Concession,
just south of Jing'an where we are staying.
Statuettes - old or new? In the French Concession. Lovely streets here!
Cathay Theater in the Eas French Concession.
Cathay Theater in the French Concession. Hopefully Jen's mom recognizes!
Much of Shanghai is faux-styled. 5% original, 95% rebuilt.
French Concession, East, kind of near Xintandi
Tree lined streets of the French Concession. Fuxing Road or Huaihai Road.
Fuxing Park
Fuxing Park
A fountain in spacious Fuxing Park in the French Concession
A monument in People's Square. We didn't stay very long there
because there were roving bands of scammers trying to get us to go to expensive
tea ceremonies. They spoke remarkably good English and were our instant friends.
Thank goodness for the Fodor's guide which warned us. Most of the
buildings were closed already too.
A typical foggy day in Shanghai makes for a nice dusk photo of the Bund
The Bund at dusk, lit up
The Bund at night is big and bright, deep in the heart of Shanghai!
Crowds, old buildings on the Bund
Adios, Shanghai!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hair Produce

On Tuesday, Dawn and I went to the Bund. This is the most popular tourist attraction of the city. It is a view from the older part of Shanghai to the newer part called Pudong across the Huangpu River. It's really quite something - a broad sweeping area overlooking the river and the amazing view of the steel modern high-rises across it.
The Bund - looking from the old city to the new
We spent quite a bit of time out here, walking, sitting. At one point a city guard came over and pointed to Dawn, telling her to not sit cross-legged on the seating ledge - proper respect was required here, so she had to sit with her legs over the side of the ledge.

There was allegedly a food court somewhere and we wandered a while looking for it. At one point a signed showed it was nearby, but the arrow was pointing down. Eventually we gave up and found a small local coffee shop and had some snacks and coffee to get our brains working again.

Of hilarious note was the public restroom. Dawn stopped in and then reported that there were individual stalls, but also a "trough". Later, when I was about to use the restroom, I said let's go to the one farther back in case I had to do something weird like pee on the wall. Insert ironic silence here. I had to pee on the wall (it was a wall of perpetual flushing - water was running down it. Still.)

Another weird note: I had just taken the "christmas postcard" for a nice western couple when a couple of girls came over and wanted me to take their picture. I'd read there was a scam about this, that they would then want me to go spend a lot of money somewhere in a "traditional tea ceremony". However, what they actually wanted was for Dawn and I to be in THEIR picture with them. No idea why, but we did it and they left. Bizarre. Reminded me of my trip to Paris where a Spanish woman introduced me to her daughter as "an authentic North American man".

It was probably about 40 more minutes to sundown when all the lights would have been lit on the skyscrapers, but it was really windy and cold. It was very warm during the day so neither of us brought jackets. So we decided to hoof it back to the hotel. We were told the main streeet here (that leads back to our hotel) is a great pedestrian walking area, called Nanjing Road. We walked...and walked... for about two hours. There are tons of shops and a lot of people. Finally, after 3 1/2 miles, we reached the hotel, sore and very weary. We had a light dinner and called it a night.

Today we are being a little less ambitious, but will go shopping in a nearby mall. We'll probably head out to the science and technology museum in Pudong which boasts a great pedestrian mall in the area as well with lots of more "fun" or "funny" items. Fake Rolexes, etc.

So - it's been a fun, interesting trip so far. Lots to do in the next few days, but we're also going to try and get some relaxing in. We're on vacation, after all.

For now - some pictures!

Trees in a garden on my walk to work
A street on the way to work
A typical workday lunch. Tomato and egg-drop soup, rice, shrimp and vegetables
and pork of some sort. All very very good
Construction on the walk to work
Typical workday subway ride. I had to
take out the camera at the previous stop
because I wouldn't be able to move my arms
Westernized breakfast
Noodles - WIN!
Traditional handmade noodles. Spicy dish, but delicious. I put the
whole bowl away. Note the "hamburgers" and Coke.
"Where am I?" "When am I?"
Day one for Dawn - a little dazed
Small park near work
City areas
Near Jing'an temple, some converted some trucks into lethal ninja robots
How do you say "worst nightmare" in Mandarin?
More than meets the eye?
Jing'an temple
Jing'an temple and shopping area
Jing'an temple closeup
Very familiar view near the hotel: Jing'an temple nestled amidst
the mall and other businesses
Photo op
A very popular photo spot
A wall of flowers, approaching the Bund
Looking down the street on the Bund
Staggering view

Looking right from the skyline.line, a little to the right

Really hard to show scale here. The city is vast. Note the cruise ship.
This is looking "left" from the Bund.

Wider view of the skyline. The tall building on the right that looks
like a bottle opener is the tallest building in Shanghai.
Pearl Tower and the modern side of Shanghai
Customs House. The bell would ring every half hour
We thought this was a government building but it was a bank.
Bull on the Bund
It's nice to find quiet places like this amidst the vast crowds
A small park off the Bund. Good place to rest from all the walking.
Dawn by a park off the Bund
Many of the streets in this part of Shanghai look like this. Nanjing Road.
Street Sharks
Looking west down Nanjing Road
West Nanjing Road - shopper paradise
Don't forget your Hair Produce