Thursday, 3 March 2016

February 25 Shanghai

Finally a sleep in day. We leave at 9:20 am. . We take taxis to the train station, to take the bullet train to Shanghai. The train station is quite busy but given what we have experienced so far it doesn't even phase us now.

The speed of the train can exceed 300 kms.  and there are several stops along the way. There are 17 of us (Ricky included).  The issue is...... only two minutes are allotted for departure and boarding. We have luggage!!! Some of or group have lots of luggage. Our ticket says boarding time 10:53 - departure at 10:55. It really was that fast - we all made it - but not all of us were sitting down when it started up, but we were on! The highest speed we reached was 307 kms. Surprisingly, we couldn't feel a significant velocity change.

The bullet train was not our only experience with speed this date. We took taxis from the train station to our hotel.  Dorothy, Tak and I shared a cab. The driver was swerving in and out of traffic. We were having close calls repeatedly. One pedestrian had the most terrified look I've ever seen. Tak began videotaping our ride - he said it was like his light and siren rides in Toronto. Dorothy was holding on for her life as her seat belt didn't work. We survived, we made it. Tak and I loved the ride. Dorothy thought we were crazy - to be fair, Dorothy's seat belt didn't work, Tak and I had put ours on

We checked in at the Nanying Hotel which was a real treat given the last few nights accommodations - hot water, bottled water and what appears to be a more acceptable clientele. Ricky our task master guide  gave us 45 min. to enjoy our room before we met again.

We then were off for lunch -taking the subway - to a Chinese Italian diner. Good cheap food, then a walk to the famous Bund riverfront road and walk along the Huangpu River, the longest river in Shanghai. We were taking pictures of the unique buildings as soon as we could see them - to Ricki's frustration. He kept saying wait, better places to take pictures.

Shanghai has a very unique skyline. On one side of the river is some very modern unique buildings and on the other side is some beautiful old traditional buildings. Some of the unique buildings include the Oriental Pearl T.V Tower which stands 468 meters, it has two distinct globes and is the tallest T.V. tower in the world. The Shanghai World Financial Center tower (looks like a bottle opener) stands 492m tall and was the tallest building in China (now second tallest). On the 100th floor it features a hanging sightseeing corridor which is the second tallest transparent sightseeing platforms in the world.  The Shanghai Tower was built in 2015 and still has floors to officially open, it is now the tallest in Shanghai and third tallest in the world at 632m. Shanghai has 22 million people in its district. It is the largest city in China and is the capital city.

In the evening we were given some picture taking and shopping time before we were off to the famous  Shanghai circus called the Era Intersection of Time. Attending the local shopping locations still appeal to me and shock me at the same time. This time I found dried sea cucumbers for sale! We then took the subway to the circus with warnings from Ricky that this is a busy time and we have to be prepared to push and shove to get on and off the subway. He indicated a previous group he guided were not all successful in getting off - he explained what to do if we didn't make it off in time, how to get back to the group. Surprisingly, we all made it on and off without difficulties.  The circus was amazing, intense and artistic.  At one time 7 motorcycles were inside of a glode.

Unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures at the circus.

We arrived back at the hotel near 10pm. A long eventful day.

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