March 11, 2012

China Day 2: Touring Shanghai

Summary: Sometimes you have to sacrifice your tiredness to complete the mission and reap the rewards of touring a new city and seeing the biggest ball of twine.

We woke at 1am. The boys watched a movie and played while Steve and I drifted in and out of sleep until 6am when breakfast started. The breakfasts, outside of the obvious, are always highlights of our trips to China. We were eager to introduce Josiah to the 5-star breakfast buffet, and his appetite did not disappoint. He tried tofu, preserved eggs (I paid him a dollar), steamed custard buns, caviar, and, his favorite, dumplings. I convinced Sheehan to try a peach "smoothie". There were tiny orange flecks in it. Turns out, the flecks were something like cayenne pepper. Flames shot out of Sheehan's ears. Steve tested it to confirm it's hotness. He confirmed it.

After breakfast, we left to tour Shanghai. We walked along a shopping street called the Pedestrian Mall (a stretch of road lined with stores that cars aren't allowed on) toward The Bund. The Bund is a collection of stately western-style buildings running along the Huangpu River with a pedestrian promenade that affords magnificent views of The Bund as well as the newer skyscrapers across the river, including the bulbous Oriental Pearl TV Tower. All this to say that the boys were bored out of their minds.

We then took the touristy Bund sightseeing tunnel - an under the river ride in a slow-moving capsule along a track with a Pink Floyd-like lighting show. It was weird. But it got us across the river.
We went to the 88th floor observation area of the Jin Mao Tower. It was cheaper than the other towers, and still had great views. Our attention to the views was usurped by the men cleaning the windows outside the observation area. They were walking along a three foot wide ledge, with apparently not attached to the building, throwing a rope, trying to attach it to something. I almost threw up while watching them. It was great!

Then we hit the subway and took it to where we could ride the Maglev (stands for magnetic levitation) train. This is currently the fastest train in the world at 430 km/hr (about 260mph). It was awesome. It felt like we were in a plane taking off, but it never took off.

Then we took the subway back to our hotel and Josiah passed out within 10 minutes at 4pm.
I haven't figured out how to post pics with iPad yet. Sorry. Print Friendly and PDF

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