Well, after Friday night I had an action-packed weekend in Shanghai! I will let the pictures tell the story. The weather Saturday was just perfect.
The Renaissance hotel was next to the Yuyuan Gardens, which was my first stop on Saturday. The garden is really a set of buildings, pavilions, walkways and ponds. It used to be privately owned but was donated to the city.
Next up was trying out the Shanghai metro system. It is one of the newest and fastest growing with 12 lines and counting. A Shanghai Public Transportation Card similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus Card is a must. Line 10 that stopped by hotel is brand new. The metro stations are not filled with ATMs, 7-11s and shops the way the Hong Kong ones are (with some exceptions).
The next picture of the World Cup 2010 billboard is on East Nanjing Road, one the main drags for shopping. Interesting, the Anime/ cartoon style of the picture.
A tourist like me gets mobbed with offers for iPhones, ‘Louis Vuitton’ bags and ‘Rolex’ watches on Nanjing Rd. No thank you, no, no, not interested. Since I had the metro figured out, it was time to take it to the Longyang stop for my jolly ride to Pudong International airport and back on the maglev train. In the picture the train arrives at the Longyang station. The ride and the acceleration is very smooth – not that I was thinking it would be otherwise! – but at one point something went PFOOF!! making the windows rattle. What was that?! I thought, then realized it was the other maglev train shooting by at close range. There is a display in the car indicating the speed, showing that we topped out at 300 km/h (187 mph). So evidently they capped the speed of the beasts, given that they can go much faster .. awww : ).
Mission accomplished, I was headed for the Pearl Tower, so I went back to the Bund. There I found a rail tunnel they built to ferry people underneath the Huangpu river to the other side – the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel. To make it interesting (and charge more money) they added pschychedelic lights into the tunnel wall. The next picture with the people in the rail car shows that the track dead-ends but there is a rotating mechanism that swings it around on a section of track for the return trip.
The Pearl Tower drew me like a magnet, but I had to be patient because there was a long line. The security check point swiped my bottled water. The view of the circular walkway with human ants on is from the second pearl at 260m (850 ft). Yes – they’re not done building skyscrapers by a long shot in Shanghai.
Next I went down to the first level, this one is at 90m (300 ft), and it has a wrap-around glass floor. I stepped onto it gingerly as if it was made of egg-shells, and look straight down. A creepy feeling, and after that I was ready to get out of there!
Back on the Bund side, here is Pudong skyline basking in the late afternoon sun. But by now my feet were killing me and I commandeered a scooter taxi (three wheels, open cage at the back and no belt so you had better HOLD ON to your belongings. It was a wild ride but got me back to the hotel. (I couldn’t take the metro because the new line running to the hotel is not fully in service and had closed at 4 pm already). The Chinese gate picture was taken from the back of the scooter.
The final two pictures are my cue for going to bed! They were taken late Saturday night on the Bund (it means the Embankment) Promenade. Got to love that gaudy glitzy boat decked out in LED lighting ! I will post a few more tomorrow.