First of all, you have discovered my new web format. I have moved the photo album to the top, above the Blog entries, so that you go back and forth between my last commentary entry and the pictures a lot easier. Let me know if you like this format better, if not, I open to suggestions for more improvements.
On to Shanghai, Susy and I took our second tour of the cruise "Old and New Shanghai", a half day bus tour of the two banks of the Huangpu River which makes up the center of Shanghai. Again I would like to follow the pictures in the photo album above with the same name, "Shanghai – Day 1". As you may or may not know, Shanghai is located about in the middle of the Pacific China coast. To get to it you sail up the Huangpu River which is a part of the Yangtze River Delta. My first three photos were taken as we sailed up the river. The first photo shows the river traffic, since Shanghai is the largest cargo port in the world since 2005, barges, small ships, etc. move back and forth in a study stream. Surprise, we were by far the largest ship around, the majority very small ships or barges filled with coal, etc., and small fishing vessels. The second photo shows a large suspension bridge which connects the east shore (the new city) with the West shore (the old city). The first thing that strikes you is the construction that is going on. Twenty years ago, they say that the east shore was barren land. Today, after building 5 bridges and 6 tunnels across/under the Huangpu River a whole new city has grown on the East Shore, which is shown in the third photo through the fog as we entered port at 7 AM, on Oct. 7th. Our tour took is first to the second tallest building in Shanghai (88 stories), which is right next to the newer tower next door (101 stories), seen in the next photo. The reason we went to the second tallest building is the elevator to the observation tower. The next photo shows us inside that elevator which holds about 30 people. We are just about to get out and if you scan in on that red circle display you will see "88 FL 340 meters". We had just gone from the first floor to the 88th floor in 45 seconds, with absolutely no sensation of speed. From the top of the building you see two photos of the skyline, the first from the new city looking across the river to the old city. The second photo is toward the other direction and shows a lot of "condo" buildings, those red roof low buildings that are residences for the Chinese people. I’ll comment more about that in a minute. When we went down we saw two Chinese sales girls and I had to have a picture to show you, especially the girl on the right who looks like a doll. Finally, to complete the pictures I show you the beautiful new city skyline. I want you to note the tower on the left, called the "Oriental Pearl Tower". This tower is the worlds 3rd tallest broadcasting tower at 1500 feet. It lights up at night in purple and white lights and is beautiful. We finished the tour driving through the old city, where Susy and I went on day two, viewing the "Peoples Square" (a large park), a huge museum, and many other interesting sites.
I want to close Day 1 comments with a little human interest from our Guide for the day. She told us that when she graduated from college about 25 years ago, the Chinese government told her where she would live, and what career she would follow (Guide). Today she has a daughter who is in college, has been to the U.S., lived with an American family for one year in An Arbor, Michigan home of the great university, U of Michigan (she said, not me), and upon graduation can become a teacher, which she wants to be, and more importantly buy her own "Condo", small residence, where she wants to live. The Guide says the Chinese government has given them a lot more freedoms and is becoming less restrictive every day. The government still controls a lot, mortgage rates, values of properties, (the China government owns all real estate and leases it to it’s citizens similar to Mexico.) etc.., but no one can deny the growth of Shanghai and, as we understand it, China as a whole. It’s enormous, the old public housing being torn down and the new "Condo" buildings being built.
That’s enough for Day 1. I’ll try to get you the photos of Day 2 today, but you’ll probably have to wait for the Day 2 Blog until next week. I don’t have much time today, and tomorrow we sail into Hong Kong for two days.
Until next time, Love you All,