A Lost Day
26 Jul 2015
|July 26: A Lost Day
Shanghai Facts and Observations:
--24 million people; largest city in China
-People are exceptionally friendly (several came up to talk to Gary as he was smoking his cigars on the street.
--One of world’s most important ports; began as tiny fishing village 5,000 years ago.
--Major silk producer
--City of contrasts: architecture (Gothic, Renaissance; Art Nouveau, old and new, contemporary
living units (high rises and garden apts. EVERYWHERE; shiny new to shanties)
financial and trade center; narrow streets; markets; street vendors (dollar men)
Waiting (and waiting)
Today was essentially getting from Shanghai to Wuhan (site of the 1911 rebellion that was the final straw for the Qing dynasty) where we eventually boarded the Viking Emerald.
We began with a pleasant time (if 90 degrees and humid at 10 a.m. is pleasant) on the Shanghai Bund—its river walk.
The Bund runs about 15 kilometers dividing the new and old Shanghai. Beautiful late 1800’s and turn twentieth century trade and financial buildings that used to be embassies and consulates line the old Shanghai side; ultra modern high rises line the new (Pudong) side. Our guide told us that as of the early 1990’s there was nothing on the Pudong side, so it has been quite the economic growth and building spurt. Condos on Pudong river go for $100,000/sq meter.
Boarded the bus and arrived at Shanghai’s domestic (rather than the international Pudong) airport. All went well—if not efficiently when traveling with 36 other people—and we made it to the gate area 40 minutes before the flight. Then waited for 90 before boarding and another 90 on board before leaving the gate. Finally took off 2 hours late.
But all was well until we were on the bus heading to the Wuhan Provincial Museum to see the amazing grave bells, hear a concert and learn about other Chinese instruments. Then came the Sunday traffic that we essentially sat in for another hour. Finally the bus voted at 6:00 to forego the museum (that had remained open past its 4:00 PM closing for us) and head to the ship. Arrived just in the nick of time as the thunder, lightening and rain hit big time just as we were entering our stateroom. From our little balcony, it was almost like watching a storm at Daisy Hill’s porch.
Fifteen minutes later we were in the dining room having dinner. An after dinner nightcap and we’ve come back to the room to unpack and crash. Looking forward to not being on a bus or plane tomorrow.