Our day in Shanghai began at the luxuriously late hour of 9am, and we had all cheered when Ryan announced that the previous evening. Another fine buffet in the hotel, and then off to the Silk Factory, our most interesting your so far, but as all were, a big setup for purchases. I bought a silk comforter, and desperately hope its production didn’t somehow involve child labor and nuclear waste.
We then went to the very nice city museum of Shanghai. Shanghai is the most European style city so far, both in look and because in the museum you could get a cup of tea and a biscuit. There was a particularly interesting display of clothing and crafts from all the various ethnic groups in China.
We then went to the Bund a park/walk along the river were there was a good view of some of the unusual high rises in Shanghai. Beijings buildings were very soviet block architecture, but there is some more interesting stuff here. Ryan said that “Beijing is the classroom and Shanghai is the playground,” which seems pretty true.
After lunch- which continues to boggle the mind and stomach inside, we went to a park. It was someone’s summer home with many twists and turns (to puzzle the evil spirits) streams, rooms and performing spaces. Also giant carp the size of your head and several very tired cats. It was a very nice and peaceful place, especially in contrast with the maze of alleys with salespeople which we had passed through on the way there. I would have liked to spend a little more time in the crazy area, but like all our tour guides, Ryan moves us past what seems to be “touristy.” Would that that theory applied to the factory tours! We did get to spend a little time on the high shopping street and Anne and I spent an enjoyable half hour nosing around a grocery store, marveling at the variety of mushrooms, dried fish/sea creatures and unusual fruits and vegetables.
We said farewell to Ryan back at the hotel, and while some went back out with him to see an acrobatics show, I stayed in, began to tackle my packing and also had a drink and enjoyable visit with Anne in the hotel lobby. We also trekked across the street to the Starbucks, where I was able to get a Shanghai “city relief” mug. I hadn’t been able to find one for Beijing or xi’an, so was glad to find success on my last day.
The next day, it was off to the airport and home. No upgrade this time, but a good flight none the less (though the lady in front of me did fully recline her seat for the whole flight, but such is life.). At the end of the 15 hour plus journey, I was surprised and very pleased that Anne, Ali and my mom and dad had come to the airport, even though it ways midnight, to take me home. Paul and the cats were waiting, and it was a fine end to a great adventure. China report:signing off!