We all said our good-byes last night. Allen was leaving in the early morning and he had more traveling to do. The 6 Irish women still had a few more days scheduled in Shanghai. Tak and Dorothy are continuing their honeymoon going to Macau and then to Hong Kong. Sophie and Haydn were off to Japan. Kirsten and Stephen were returning home to scotland. Michael and Kalynn had just started their journey and were going to visit 14 countries is 63 days.
I joined Michael and Kalynn just before noon to take the subway to the airport. Given we are pros with the subway we believed this shouldn't be an issue. The subway map clearly shows the subway goes all the way to the airport. It even showed the line to board the express Train from the subway. Because we had the time available we decided to take the route to the airport that didn't require any transfers.
The station we started at was not particularily busy and we were able to get seats within a few stops. However, somehow we became a bit confused....we knew we were to stay on the tram right to the last stop. For some reason we stepped off the tram at a station, instantly realized our mistake and stepped back on to the amusement of everyone else and particularly the people who had just taken our seats. Then a couple of stations stops later, a large amount of people got on the tram with suitcases. At the following station the tram began travelling in the opposite direction. We quickly got off at the station where the others with suitcases had got on. It appeared we needed to make a transfer to a different line. I am very certain that was not indicated on the subway map. Whatever happened. ...we made it to the airport.
I wandered around the airport for several hours, buying bad, expensive airport food and spending the last of my Chinese money. I left Shanghai, China at 6 pm Saturday February 27th to go to Vancouver, Canada. I arrived at 12:00 noon on February 27th. It was very confusing to arrive before I left.
I dozed, blogged and ate bad airport food for 8 hours and an additional half hour for a flight delay. I then flew to Calgary and had a quick transfer to a flight to Saskatoon where I stayed overnight. My parents met me in the morning and we drove to Prince Albert.
This was the longest trip I have ever taken, over five weeks. There wasn't a day that I could describe as bad. Only one day I felt sick and that was a brief episode. Most days I was sore and tired from the walking, hiking and climbing I was doing, but that didn't stop me from continuing to walk even more the next day as I didn't want to miss seeing anything.
I'm attaching a few pictures of my travelling companions, some of which I acquired from thier Facebook sites. Unfortunately I did not take a good picture of our whole group in China. The first picture is Sharon and Kurtis whom I traveled with in vietnam and Cambodia.
Many of my friends asked if I experienced culture shock. I'm not really sure what that really means. I suspect that if I hadn't had people around me who spoke English - if I had been traveling on my own for longer than the few days that I did, then I might understand what culture shock means. If culture shock means that I was surprised what other cultures do, eat, how their government regulates them - then I guess I experienced culture shock. I do know that I had overwhelming feelings in the Shanghai airport when I found books in English. I only had two books with me while traveling - I had expected to find hotel book exchanges to get another book. The book exchanges were there and books were available in many languages, but not English. It was hard to decide what book to buy and I really wanted them all. I realized I missed seeing the English around me.
It is my intention to add more blogs in the next few day's. I've been collecting pictures of transportation modes, plants and flowers and signs and menu's I found amusing. As well, pictures from the markets. The markets are very interesting. The food is artistically arranged and has some very interesting items.
I'm expecting to take two more trips within the next 5 months and will continue my blogging then. Thank you to those people who have subscribed to my blog site and thank you to those who drop in and read a page occasionally.