01 September 2009
Our time in Shanghai was originally short, as less than 24 hours were allocated for our stay in the city. It was made shorter, however, due to both a plane delay and then rain on the evening of our arrival.
Nevertheless, we found ways to make the best of our time. From the airport, we immediately went to the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, which is the highest building the Shanghai and I believe the third-highest in the world. One of the observation decks a few hundred feet up has a glass platform surrounding it on which you can walk and view everything below; of course I took advantage of this and walked around the entire circular deck on the clear glass.
It was after this visit that the rain started, so we went back to the hotel. I think that everyone in our group took advantage of the next couple of free hours before dinner as nap time; at this point, the last day of our ten-day tour, we were all dragging, and many (not myself, thankfully) were feeling somewhat under-the-weather.
We woke up, had dinner, and then embarked on a short riverboat cruise down the Huangpu (Yellow River), which led to Shanghai’s main port. I so wished that there had been music; it reminded me simultaneously of the eighth-grade and Free Spirit D. C. cruises on the Potomac.
That night, Andreina, Geena, and I decided that we wanted to go out. (Originally, more people had agreed, but due to a variety of reasons, it ended up just being the three of us.) We wandered around outside the hotel, eventually ending up at our proposed destination, East Nanjing Road. The street reminded me of Times Square: it seemed to become even more lively at night; it was big, bright, multicultural, and cosmopolitan. The three of us strolled down it, stopping in a store here and there and eventually finding a bar where we partook in beer and fries (don’t worry; there’s no drinking age in China) before heading back in a taxi in order to make Zhang Laoshi’s hotel curfew. The next morning, we departed for Suzhou.