Monday, November 12, 2012


Just like that Nazareth classic
“ I woke up groggy, my sight was smoggy” and we were in Shanghai!

I felt like I’d just stepped into a Jetsons episode-  looking up at the space-aged, neon-flashing skyscrapers I kept waiting for our taxi to leave the ground for SpacePad Apartments.

My head wobbled -gawking at the architecture as we drove to another nice hotel in the British concession, surrounded by whimsically-named musical instrument shops.

As we entered the lobby, I saw him---blond, blue-eyed, arms like Popeye… and as he thanked his buddy as we passed, I heard him----THE CUTE AUSSIE!!!! !!!!!
I’ve been waiting for you my whole trip!!!  And quicker than you could say "G’Day Mate"—he was gone…  L L L

Best Friends Guitar Store, Shanghai

Famished, we ordered fast foodish Chinese grub in the hotel restaurant, freshened up and jumped another cab down to Old Shanghai.

Sadly, not a single opium den in sight but, regardless, Old Shanghai did not disappoint. 
Classic wooden Chinese architecture, crooked backstreets, flashing lights, massive crowds- it was pure, unadulterated sensory overload.

Old Shanghai

Every bright doorway pumped music and beckoned you to come in and Buy Buy Buy! I wanted everything I saw and my daypack was full of souvenirs in mere minutes. I resisted the siren’s song just long enough to toss back an espresso and break the spell.

YOU MUST BUY in Old Shanghai

Then it was on to the Yu Yuan Gardens- one of the most-visited places in Shanghai. Yu Yuan Gardens, located in Old Shanghai was constructed in 1577 and reconstructed in 1956.
The gardens were originally owned and built by a government officer for the enjoyment of his aging parents. They are absolutely delightful and I can’t think of a better gift for an aging parent (hint hint darling Ceilidh).

Yu Yuan Gardens, Shanghai
Yu Yuan Gardens, Shanghai

To enter, one must first cross the moat a via a zig-zag bridge—constructed this way as evil spirits can’t turn corners. Once inside and past the teahouse, lies 5 acres of pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards and gardens- beautiful. The crowds and time crunch somewhat diminished my pleasure, but reviewing my photos later refreshed my memory and spirit.

Dragon Wall, Yu Yuan Gardens, Shanghai

Our group lost each other in the labyrinthine gardens, met up at Starbucks again and then went our separate ways for more retail therapy. My pack and both arms were full of swag by this time, so I welcomed a quick break near at our hotel so I could drop my booty off.

Nighttime in Old Shanghai

Now it was prime time to stroll along the famous Bund and gaze across the harbour at the spectacular Pudong skyline.

The Bund, Shanghai

The waterfront Bund area is a mile long picturesque stretch of late 19th and early 20th century Western architecture overlooking the HuangPu River. In sharp contrast, the Pudong district across the river houses some of the tallest and most spectacular ultra modern architecture in the world.

Pudong District, Shanghai

Strangely and quite unfortunately, the Bund had a decided lack of snacks and beverage opportunities- both of which our group was in dire need of after this length of waterside stroll.
Helen, David and I  tucked into a carnivorous late night feast and beer swig before crashing out- twinkling lights dancing in our heads.

Tea anyone? Tea Shop, Old Shanghai

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