So now we are on our way to Shanghai. Our train is 10am and we are due in to Shanghai at 2.30pm. We get a cab with Jonas the German guy to Shanghia Railway Station (the one begining with H, there are 3 and I cannot pronounce any of them). The stations are very modern and grand, like airports really. Although the downside of them is the security. I dont think I mentioned either the security on the metro. Your bag and you, get scanned through an airport style detector. Ok, so you feel secure but it is the last thing you want when you have a huge rucksac like I do that is nearly as big as me and I keep having to take it on and off.
Anyway getting through ticket control is straightforward. Ticket and passport checked and off we go to board the train. The trains are like planes also. The seating is 3 seats and 2 accross the ailse. Im impressed with the legroom and the on train magazine (although it is all in Chinese, it still looks colourful), there is also even a sick bag!
We decide we could do with some food so make our way to the buffett carriage. Although the only things available to eat seem to be an array of various freeze dried animal tongue and some boring soup. We see chinese people with what look like microwave meals, we want one of them but as the guy serving can't speak any english we cant ask for one. We go for the soup. At every carriage there are hot water fountains so you can make your own tea/coffee soup (UK trains could learn something from them). I have my soup and tea, and then snooze for most of the journey. When we get off we get the metro to a centrel point. In London I get very annoyed at people that push on the tube before you have got off and this happens on occassion. This is the norm though in China. So much so when we are about to stand up to get off these two woman, with huge glasses on swarm in from nowehere and literally try squeeze into our seats before we have left. It was counter productive for them though as they could not sit there until we had stood up and we could not stand up until they stepped away. They got the glare and the head shake from me, that's for sure!
Apart from that the metro is easy enough. We get out at the Bund area and decide to grab some lunch before trying to beg for a bed. The restaurant is fine, apart from some odd person haging around the loos, that did not lock. I say person as I have no idea if male or female!
We locate a hostel for us to stay in and luckily for us, there is room. We settle in and then decide not to waste too much time and get out to do a bit of exploring. We head down to the Waterfront, which is in walking distance of our hostel. It is slightly warmer in Shanghai but still pretty cold. The waterfront is mesmorising. On one side of the bank are huge sky scrapers that make New York look like a low rise city. They are all colourful and well lit. The other side you are struck by very Eupoean style old gothic buildings, slightly French, slightly Gaudi. In between these though there are more sky scrapers. We stroll along the river and decide to head to the Old Town. We get asked to pose for some photos by a Chinese couple. We see lots of people with dogs dressed in fantastic coats, seriously stylish coats. These coats belong on the stylish city worker guys I spy on the tube. Some dogs even have shoes, loafers that could easily pass for Gucci or Puppy Prada!
I assume that the Chinese here either love their dog beyong belief or they eat the dog!
We find pretty little old streets with lanterns a plenty and a street market selling an abundance of street food. We opt for a restaurant though, which was nice. After dinner we stroll back to our hostel. By this time though it is getting on for 10pm. We sit and have a coffee in the hostel bar but it's far to cold, so we head to bed for a warm really and tomorrow a full day looking around and meeting Max :-)