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Stunning Shanghai

Shanghai, China

Mar.23 the ship slowly sails up the Huangpu river to dock at the new cruise terminal in Shanghai.It is 5:30pm.The terminal looks like a spaceship,round with legs and skylights around the top.Right beside it is a lovely little park.I did not go ashore that evening.
Wed 24th I went on "The Best of Shanghai",an all day tour.The city has a population of 18 million.There are magnificent apartment buildings and run down apartments and shacks where people have few amenities.

{The contrast is striking.Those who can afford washing machines will not have dryers,prefering to hang their washing in the sun.

We drove along the Bund,a word from India,meaning embankment.It was built by the English with money from the Opium Wars.It is like walking along a street in London.The doorways are magnificent.The buildings house banks,clubs,offices and hotels and are such a tourist attraction that the area is considered a national treasure.Stately and elegant would describe it.Unfortunately Shanghai has no bedrock and the buildings are subsiding so that one has to step down to enter the front door of some buildings.Newer buildings are built on a large concrete base which supports the weight.We crossed the river to the growing Pudong District which is becoming a financial area and saw the Oriental Pearl TV tower and many skyscrapers.

Back across the river we went to the Yu Yuan Gardens,built by an official in the Ming Dynasty for his parents.However,it took 19 yrs to build and his parents died before they could enjoy it.There are many rockeries and pavilions and 4 dragon walls.The curved up ends of each roof had mythical characters to protect the inhabitants.

We had a lovely lunch on the 8th floor of the opera house,after which we went to the jade Buddha temple where we saw a 9 ft.statue of a slim feminine Buddha with a beautiful face
carved from a single piece of white jade.Several people were burning incense sticks in the courtyard,bowing in each of 4 directions.
Our last stop was the Shanghai Museum,a flat round shape on top of a square,the heavens on top of the earth.
Beautiful jade,furniture,delicate Ming and more elaborate Ching.
One section had costumes from the different provinces.

That evening we went to see an acrobat show,truly magnificent.No photos allowed.
This morning I took the shuttle in and walked to Nanjing Rd.the big shopping street.Part of it is pedestrian only.I went to get a massage where our fitness director went yesterday and had a Chinese massage,one of many choices.It was very good.I was given a silk outfit,rather like pjs and the massage was done over a towel on top of this.She went quite deep and then stretched my arms and legs.90 mins.for approx.$35.I took a taxi back to the ship.
At sea tomorrow and Xiamen on the 27th.

permalink written by  edoyle on March 25, 2011 from Shanghai, China
from the travel blog: World Cruise
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