It is monday lunchtime here in Shanghai and I am just getting ready to leave for my next destination on this whistle stop tour!
Arrived in Shanghai on Saturday afternoon and could feel immediately the temperature difference compared with the other places we had been. It is hot and muggy here, not sunny just uncomfortable!! We went for lunch near our hotel where we were presented with a fish that still had it's tail, eyes, skin and everything intact - it didn't really taste of that much other than sea water!! We then did an orientation tour of the city and walked along the Bund - this is by the river and said to be the most expensive place for real estate in the whole of china. There were some great views of the massize sky scrapers in the financial district - there were also these little pits that you could look down in and see the water and swimming in it were hundreds of little turtles!!! I was excited because I really like turtles!! I got some good pictures of them sitting on these pieces of wood that were floating in the water and covered with coins. Someone told me that you are supposed to throw a coin in and if it stayed on the wooden plank with the turtles you would get good luck but if it fell in the water you would get 7 years bad luck - i don't have a very good aim so i decided not to chance it!
In the evening we went to see the Shanghai acrobatics which was amazing. The theatre was part of the Shanghai Ritz Hotel so we certainly got a glimpse at how the other half must live! It was in quite an exclusive area where I suspect all the western bankers live. We went into the supermarket on the complex and it was full of western food, pasta, pizza, chocolate, bread, jam etc! It was pretty exciting as I haven't had anything other than rice for days!! I went to buy a dairy milk but then worked out it was about 3 pounds!! Talk about a mark up. There were loads of rich looking people shopping in there it is probably the only place where you can buy stuff like milk and bread - in normal supermarkets you can only really find sweet bread and even that is sometimes hard to come by!
The acrobats were really good, there were about 12 acts all together who all came on in turn. There was a woman who could balance things on her feet, plates spinners, a magaigan, a tightrope walker, and then groups who did really cool acrobatics - jumping through hoops 8ft off the ground, contouring thier body into incredible shapes and just generally being amazing, i laughed, ahhed and cringed!! My favourite was this couple who flew on two pieces of material which hung from the stage ceiling! Sounds odd but believe me it was good!!
We continued our night of luxury by heading over to the financial district where we went to the top of one of Shanghai's highest buildings (87 floors!) We had a drink in thier piano bar which was very sophisticated and incredibly expensive!!! Definately worth it though and the live band who were playing were excellent. The views of the city were great too and you could see the lights of the city went on for miles and miles.
Yesterday (Sunday) I had a very relaxing day, I had a quick look in The Shanghai Museum in the morning before heading over to the underground market in the shopping area of the town. I then sat with my book in one of the main areas of the city and had a coffee (I found a starbucks and had a sandwich too - I don't think I've ever been so happy to see two slices of bread before in my life!!!!) In the evening we went to dinner at a local place near our hotel and had a drink and played some cards in someones room.
This morning I repacked (again!) and have just nipped into the city to pick up a few bits of food for the next train journey - this one is the monster at 23 hours long! That is almost a whole day!
Shangai is the last city I'll see until day 20 in Hong Kong - next we are visiting a few local villages where I think I will definately be needing both my sunscreen and my insect repellent!! Wish me luck xxxxx