We scooted along to Shanghai at 300km per hour on the train from Jinan on Friday afternoon. No longer do we need to get a little porter to help us, we have pretty well got these huge train stations sorted.
My Dad always said that you learn something new every day and we certainly learnt a few things over the weekend. Firstly we learnt just because a Hotel is called River View doesn't mean it has a view of a river....
and secondly we learnt what you save on staying at a cheaper Hotel you will have to spend the next week on physio due to the concrete hard bed you tried to sleep on.
Needless to say I am sacked from booking the Hotel Accommodation from now on but I think it was worthwhile staying at the River View just to get our morning omelette cooked fresh by the cute little chef.
Saturday morning we explored by foot, as you can imagine there was plenty to see. Shanghai has a population of 24 million so that is like every single person in Australia jammed in to one city. Like every city we have visited it has over the top opulence and then you will walk around the corner and you will be in Struggle Street.
On our walk we came across the big markets where you can get clothes made, old mate was quick to get out his calculator when Leo asked how much to get a suit made.
We then came across indoor markets that sold what looked like to be every type of nut and grain ever grown. Leo was very impressed with the lovely clean samples of chick peas, mung beans and soy beans.
Walking further along we come across a man cutting people's hair on the street, Most people are very friendly and as you can see by his smile he was very happy for us to take his photo.
Saturday afternoon Leo dragged me along to the AFL at Wellington International College where there were a lot of teams mainly made up of expats playing from different places like Laos, Singapore, Vietnam, Beijing etc. For those of you that know me well you know that I would rather stick myself in the eye with a fork than watch AFL but went along anyway. I guess it was worth it in the end for the delicious Australian Angus Steak we had and there was a stall set up selling Australian groceries so we were able to buy Nutri Grain, Weet Bix and Maltesers. Who would have ever thought it would be so exciting to buy such things, of course they were all sold out of tim tams.
There was also a live band playing all the great Australian classics and that's when I learnt homesickness can hit you at the craziest of times.
Saturday night we bought tickets to go on the night cruise and lined up in the heat with another 10,000 people (don't think I am exaggerating) for about an hour, and when I say lined up I mean jammed in tight like sardines and getting pushed and jostled. We eventually got to the front of the line to be told, "Your boat has left, go back ticket office, go back of line". Back to the ticket office we went but just to get a refund and ended up walking along the river to see the city lights. In the end we were happy we weren't on the boat with the thousands of other people.
Sunday we spent the day on the Hop on Hop off tour bus doing the quick version tour of Shanghai so we could see what would be good to check out next time we come for a visit.