Shanghai Day 2- A Day to Throw Fear out the Window

Shanghai Travel Blog

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Pudong
After a really late start, it was off for more exploring… after lunch.  I went to the hotel’s Chinese restaurant to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival.   My eyes widened after I saw sweet & sour pork- my favorite!  So I ordered that, broccoli and rice.  Tea was free- and so was a zongzi!   For those unfamiliar with the holiday, it started back in ancient times.  Zongzi is a treat made of rice with either a sweet or savory filling and then wrapped in a large leaf.
from the Obs Deck
  Earlier in the week, a student brought me a sweet one which was good.  This was savory, it had pork.  It was also good.

I walked down a street a little south of my hotel called Yan’an Dong Lu.  I only turned when I saw what I thought was a church steeple.  I tried to find it, but didn’t end up doing so.  So I walked back and continued to The Bund.  I’d seen something the day before called The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel and I was curious (of course, is that a surprise?).  Finding it again, I walked down under the street and found the ticket desk.  Of course, there’s an entrance fee.  So I got a return ticket and went on my merry way.

Have I mentioned lately that I’m claustrophobic?

So yeah, I knew a tunnel probably wasn’t the best idea in the world for me.
at the history museum
  But hey, you only live once and who knows if I’ll ever make it to Shanghai again.   It was an interesting ride, but nothing worth the 50rmb two-way ticket.  It was basically a through-the-river boat and light show.   My mom probably wouldn’t have liked it, and neither would anyone with epilepsy.  The flashing and swirling lights, though a great show, not good for light-sensitive people.    But for those of us “ooohhhh… flashing lights” kind of people with attention spans like Chihuahuas on speed… it was great.

When it was over, I was glad to escape.  On the other side, I was standing only a few hundred yards from the Oriental Pearl TV tower.  So, yes, I went ahead.
at the history museum
  After that almost staggeringly expensive ticket (150rmb), I headed to the base of the tower.  After going in, and a short line, I went through security, and I’m glad I’d left my pocketknife at the hotel.  Then it was a long wait to get on the elevator that would take me 263 meters (about 862.9 feet) up the tower.  It was a cramped ride up by the time I got the elevator.

Have I mentioned lately that I’m claustrophobic?

Heart racing, breathing quickening, then the doors open and I can breathe again.  It was an amazing view over Shanghai.  The buildings, the river, The Bund.  It was wonderful.  Words can’t really describe how much I loved being up there and seeing the city from a completely different view.  After a lot of pictures and a Vlog, I went down one floor to the observation floor (263 meters).
at the history museum
   Ringing the tower is a see-through floor that allows people to look straight down.  Not sure what the floor is made of, I had been thinking Plexiglas, but I’m not sure how strong that is.  Now, I’m not afraid of heights, but that got even my heart beating a bit quicker.  It took two attempts to get me to stand on the Plexiglas with both feet.  Then a daring photo op- sitting on the Plexiglas.  The nervousness came from the fact that my lovely overactive imagination gave me the visual of the glass breaking, followed by a 263 meter freefall ending with a spectacular SPLAT!

Since I’m posting this blog, that obviously didn’t happen.

According to websites, this is the third tallest tower in the world, and the highest in Asia.  It comes behind the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada and the Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Russia.
at the history museum
  Apparently, the conception- “large and small pearls dropping onto a jade plate”.   And according to Wikipedia, it was seen twice in the movie Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.  Once when the team is trying to catch Dr. Doom, and then when Johnny Storm (as the Human Torch) pushes Dr. Doom into the Huangpu River.  I’m gonna have to see the movie again to check that action out!  It’ll go with XxX (the Vin Diesel movie) that was partially filmed in Prague.  Then I can point and say, “I’ve been there!”

After my trip down from the observation floor, I went to the free Shanghai history exhibit on the bottom floor.  If we had gone to more places like this when I was in grade school and high school, I probably would’ve done much better.  Not really hands on, but very visual.
at the history museum
  The history didn’t start too early, but it was good enough.  I took a lot of pictures of this since it was so cool.  Some of them didn’t come out   well, but all I have is a little Olympus and my phone (batteries died) and the light wasn’t always great.  I did the best I could with what I had.  After winding my way through there, I stopped for some Shanghai chocolate and snacks for the teachers at school, then I was on my way to the aquarium which was just about next door.

A ticket for the aquarium was 120rmb.  But it was fun!  The tour began in South America, where they had a replica of an Inca or Mayan temple.   Then there was the giant golden coin.  Not real- I wish!  The aquarium was fun overall, didn’t care much for the penguin tank since it was small.
at the history museum
  I took a long video with some commentary on the Viewing Tunnel (according to the sign- World’s Largest Underwater View Tunnel- 155 meters (about 508.5 feet).  It was a lot of fun, though it wasn’t quite continuous.  My favorite part- the Shark Cove!

On the other side, it was time to head back towards the hotel.  Early in the day I’d seen an Italian restaurant, so I headed there.   Looking at the menu, I decided against it, merely because of the prices.  Although my cheap Italian joint in Beijing is closed (*cries* Bravo, don’t leave me in a land of overpriced Italian!), I wasn’t desperate enough to pay the almost robbery prices that this restaurant wanted.  So I decided to head to the hotel, since they had a western restaurant (called Bund Nice Restaurant).
at the history museum
  I didn’t want to walk much more since my body was sore and my feet hurt.  So I dropped my stuff off in the room, dozed on the sofa for a little while to the sound of CNN, then headed up to the 31st floor (you’d think I’d had enough of heights).   I decided on their onion soup (can’t help myself- love the stuff when it’s good), their Parma ham and melon (tapas!) and a Carlsberg beer.   The atmosphere was great, though too dark to read, but instead- an amazing view over the river into Pudong.  *sighs*  The towers in Pudong were lit up, there was even a giant LCD screen floating down the river on a barge.  I’d decided that was an ingenious advertising medium.

From there, back to the room, some Facebooking, then bed.  Only one more full day left, and lots to do.
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Pudong
Pudong
from the Obs Deck
from the Obs Deck
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at the history museum- The German…
me in front of the German Club
me in front of the German Club
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the mascot for the 2010 Shanghai E…
the mascot for the 2010 Shanghai …
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sawfish!
sawfish!
sawfish again!
sawfish again!
he looks like a Goauld fish...
he looks like a Goauld fish...
at the aquarium
at the aquarium
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at the aquarium
a Chinese Water Dragon
a Chinese Water Dragon
climb on out, buddy
climb on out, buddy
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the Chinese restaurant at the hotel
the Chinese restaurant at the hotel
the Chinese restaurant at the hotel
the Chinese restaurant at the hotel
The Bund
The Bund
The Bund
The Bund
The Bund
The Bund
The Bund
The Bund
The Bund
The Bund
The Bund
The Bund
the Oriental Pearl TV tower in Pud…
the Oriental Pearl TV tower in Pu…
heading into the Bund Sightseeing …
heading into the Bund Sightseeing…
the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel
the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel
the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel
the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel
Pudong
Pudong
Oriental Pearl TV tower
Oriental Pearl TV tower
at the base of the tower
at the base of the tower
I love the first note
I love the first "note"
from the Obs Deck
from the Obs Deck
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from the Plexiglas- full zoom
from the Plexiglas- full zoom
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attempt one to stand on Plexiglas …
attempt one to stand on Plexiglas…
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attempt twoto stand on Plexiglas …
the shadow of the tower
the shadow of the tower
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attempt three to stand on the Ple…
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from the Plexiglas- after I final…
different towers as I waited for t…
different towers as I waited for …
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in the history museum- a wedding …
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in the history museum- puppet
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in the history museum
at the aquarium
at the aquarium
at the aquarium
at the aquarium
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at the aquarium- for my mom
at the aquarium- for my mom
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outside the aquarium
outside the aquarium
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
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Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
Pudong
for a second, I thought that had s…
for a second, I thought that had …
...hmm... Chinese Clark Kent?  I w…
...hmm... Chinese Clark Kent? I …
Shanghai
photo by: Chokk