Friday, December 20, 2013

Touring China: #3 - Shanghai -- Happy Anniversary to Us!

In August we celebrated 10 glorious years of wedded bliss.  Seriously.  We are so happy being married to each other, it's almost nauseating, even for us.  People always marvel at how quickly we moved from veritable strangers to eternally together (7 months), but it was the easiest decision we've ever made.  Bar none.

We dashed off to Shanghai for a romantic weekend getaway to celebrate.  In spite of the oppressive and cloying heat we had a lovely and relaxing visit.  We took the high speed train and in no time flat (5 hours or so) we arrived at the massive train station on the outskirts of Shanghai.  We then proceeded to drive on Shanghai's famed elevated highways through the forest of skyscrapers that make up the city's skyline.  I'm sure Shanghai doesn't have as many massive concrete and steel edifices as New York or probably Hong Kong, but we drove through them for a solid hour and there were buildings on every side as far as we could see.

Immediately after checking into our hotel, Kenny booked a river cruise on the Yangtze.  It was still daylight when we shoved off giving us great views of the city in the setting sun.  By the time we disembarked the shoreline was alive with a rainbow of flashing neon lights, including the Bund, which is beautiful all lit up.  We took a taxi to our dinner destination, M on the Bund, a delicious surf and turf restaurant where we stuffed ourselves on rarefied delicacies followed by an enormous slice of pavlova.  Yum, yum, yum.

The next day we meandered around Shanghai stopping for some shopping, everything but Chinese food dining, a stroll through the French Concession, a visit to the world's largest and most collection of Chinese propaganda art posters (no pictures and the constant threat of being shuttered), and several visits to important sites in the history of China's communist party.  So romantic, no?  We also visited the Yu Gardens and Bazaar newly renovated in traditional Chinese architecture.  It was teeming with people and smells (mostly good) and we picked up a few trinkets for the kids and ate mochi ice cream, cookies, candy and other delicious offerings.  We were in Shanghai for less than 48 hours, but we squeezed in a lot of yummy food.

On our final morning we blitzed through the Shanghai Museum taking time to appreciate the impressive collections of jade, pottery and calligraphy.  The museum is really well done, and free, so the lines were long and the common areas crowded.  Surprisingly, many of the galleries were relatively empty.  I guess people were just looking for somewhere to escape the heat.  After the museum we raced back to our hotel, checked out, and jumped in a taxi trying to break the land speed record (our fault, we told him to hurry) before boarding our train home.  We were back in time to put the kids to bed having spent a truly delightful weekend away.  I'm not sure we'll go back with the kids.  There were things to see, but not tons for kids and there is plenty to see elsewhere.  Maybe if they finish Shanghai Disney while we're still in China we'll reconsider...

A new skyscraper in Shanghai.  We could them working on this all night and day long.
I Love Shanghai!
The view from our river cruise
The Bund, all lit up
Shanghai at night
The view from M on the Bund
This picture depicts those that were present when the Chinese Communist Party was officially created -- apparently there were a couple of others there as well, but they didn't stay true and have been written out of the historical record.  A security guard was not pleased with me when I took this picture, but there weren't any signs indicating I couldn't take photos, and surprisingly, he didn't make me erase the shot.
The Birthplace of the Chinese Communist Party -- right behind those doors
French Concession
Former residence of Zhou Enlai, the first premier of the People's Republic of China
Sun Yat Sen's former residence
Yu Gardens
Yu Bazaar
Shanghai Museum


Cassidy said...

What a fun anniversary trip! Yay for 10 years.


Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations