Windless sails

Shanghai Travel Blog

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View of the bund from high
Today is my last day in Shanghai. It is also my last day as a wanderer for who knows how long. By now the realisation that this is the end has hit me. Normally I'm the kind of guy who doesn't dwell on these things. I don't think about upcoming events until they pass me by in a blur. Somehow this was different. Like a ticking time-bomb I was dreading each passing moment. And I knew exactly when my flight was. My memory is abysmal at best, and normally have to check my flight details at least a few times before it really becomes ingrained into my memory. I don't know if it was just nervousness about going home after so long. Who gets nervous about going home? Or was it the cups of coffee I had which were making my heart beat just a little faster.
The building on the right is the highest building in Shanghai
I suppose its normal to feel this way when your faced with the unknown. What was I going to do when I go home? Have my friends changed? Anything significant happened whilst I was away? The world changes, and just like I changed over the past 2 years. I didn't expect my previous life in Sydney to have stood still whilst I was away. Whether it was a good change or a bad, I did not know.

Anyway, with my impending travels soon to be over, I decide to make use of what little time I had left to do menial things. Basically walked around and shopped a bit. As I've already done everything I was aware of that could be done in Shanghai, I did the only thing a normal traveller could do with a lack of options. Climb tall things. Whilst not the tallest building in Shanghai, the Pearl Tower is definitely the most prominant.
Shanghai from high
I think officially it might be the second tallest. So I guess second best would do. It's actually quite a good experience. It had its usual long lines, being a tourist attraction and all; but they were not unbearably long. After catching the lift up, you are rewarded with some spectacular views of Shanghai city. It is definitely a city on the grow. The skyline is littered with cranes and empty plots of land dot across the landscape. A fusion of new and old. Which I think sums up China pretty well.

Whilst I generally try to avoid purchasing gifts at touristy places, I realised whilst I was up on the Pearl Tower that I had failed to buy something for my mother. It would have been bad if I got my dad something and failed to get her anything. So I hastily purchased something at the gift shop before you catch the lift back down to the bottom.
Shanghai is a city constantly under construction. New buildings constantly going up.
I got her a scarf. It wasn't the best scarf in the world, but I don't think a spoon or a snow globe would have done.

At the bottom of the Pearl Tower is actually a mini museum of sorts. Which takes you back through the history of Shaghai. Since the entrance fee to the museum was already calculated into the price of entry into the tower complex, and I had some time to kill. I wandered on in. It was surprisingly good.

Before I knew it it was time to wave goodbye to Shanghai and make my way to the airport. Getting to the airport I had a few options. As I still had some money left, I decided to go with the most expensive and exciting option. The Maglev train. I've heard about the magnetic levitation trains in Japan before, so was somewhat eager to it. Who doesn't want to travel at breakneck speeds through the Chinese countryside. I can't remember exactly how far the airport was away from the city, but it was about a 8-10min train ride on the Maglev. Averaging speeds of 350km/hr. I think the fastest it went was 450km/hr. At speeds like these, the houses and trees in the countryside literally look like a blur. It's quite weird going so fast. You don't feel quite comfortable, but also feel a little exhilarated at the same time.

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View of the bund from high
View of the bund from high
The building on the right is the h…
The building on the right is the …
Shanghai from high
Shanghai from high
Shanghai is a city constantly unde…
Shanghai is a city constantly und…
photo by: spocklogic