Friday, June 11, 2010

Shanghai, part 2: Exploration

Our first day in China, it rained. "How can we see the sights if it's raining," asked Chunlin.

We forced ourselves to stay in bed till after six o'clock, then went downstairs for a hotel breakfast -- brunch, really, from all the dinner foods available. Old coffee.

Two of Chunlin's cousins arrived at nine -- her mother's brother's daughters. They had booked us a hotel closer to where they lived, on the north side of town, so we checked out of the hotel and lugged our luggage onto a bus, then the above-ground subway to a station near their apartments (but not the closest station, I discovered later), and said goodbye to the cousins and the luggage in a taxi.

i9 - Chunlin and Cousins

Chunlin and I then got back into the busy subway system and ventured forth on our own.

Some of the subway transfers are hideously long and force you to exit the system and pay again. Apparently this is an artefact of building the subway around existing buildings, but if China is willing to knock down so many structures for everything else, can't they alter a few buildings to make the subway system work properly?

We exited the subway at Renmin Square (People's Square). Do you want an umbrella? Bu yao. I don't want one. Greenery, low clouds, relatively few people, and surrounding skyscrapers.

i10 - Urban Planning Hall & Shimao Int'l Plaza

i11 - Rénmín Square

i14 - Mark in Rénmín Square - Ch

i16 - Shànghǎi Grand Theatre & Tomorrow Square

We wandered around in the rain, got wet, got hungry, and headed off to Yunnan Street for a choice of lunch. My guidebook recommended it, or else we never would have seen it. We picked a restaurant that the locals were eating at.

i18 - Quail Lunch

I let Chunlin eat the bird. Enough boneless food for lazy me.

After lunch, we headed to Yuyuan Bazaar. Looking at my guidebook afterwards, I realized I meant to go to the garden there ("yuan" in this case means "garden"), but we didn't. Oh well. We visited other, similar gardens elsewhere.

Instead, we wandered through the packed bazaar, broke down and bought umbrellas, and bought some snacks: fresh mooncakes (yum!), fried crab on a stick (crunch!). Watch the big fish in the pond. A lot of foreigners here.

i21 - Yùyúan Bazaar Gate

i26 - Yùyúan Statue & Pond

i35 - Yùyúan Roofs

i33 - Chunlin Eating Crabs on a Stick

Watch your eyes -- umbrellas all over!
i38 - Chunlin at East Yan'an Road

More photos at flickr.

No comments: