Asia 2008:
Day 14 - Shanghai


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Asia 2008: [Day 1 - Tokyo] [Day 2 - Kyoto] [Day 3 - Kobe] [Day 4 - At Sea] [Day 5 - Nagasaki] [Day 6 - Busan] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Dalian] [Day 9 - Beijing] [Day 10 - Beijing] [Day 11 - At Sea] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Shanghai] [Day 14 - Shanghai] [Day 15 - At Sea] [Day 16 - At Sea] [Day 17 - Hong Kong]

Sunday, April 6: This morning, we decided to walk from the ship to the Bund, then cross under the river to visit Pudong New Area. When we got to the pedestrian bridge we planned to use to cross Suzhou Creek from the pier area to the start of the Bund, we found that it was closed off and surrounded by police and onlookers. We found an alternate bridge and found the same scene on the other side of the pedestrian bridge, seen here.
Whatever was going on was interesting enough to the locals that people crowded a nearby overpass with cameras aimed at where the bridge was.
When we reached the People's Hero Memorial Column, it was more of the same -- masses of people standing on one side watching something.
We're not kidding -- the wall facing the creek was wall-to-wall people. What is it? We'll tell you later on this page.
Adjacent to the People's Hero Memorial Column is Huangpu Park, a well-maintained oasis with trellises, ...
... interesting rock gardens, ...
... bird cages hanging from trees, ...
... and toilets with misspelled signs and statues.
The park is adjacent to the Bund, which started out as a promising place to visit. There were seats and snack shops and beautiful views ...
... of Pudong New District and the river, ...
... and of the Bund as it curved around the bend up ahead. Immediately after our stop to take photos, we started to get mobbed, with vendors getting right in our faces repeatedly. After two or three minutes of this, Debbie was reduced to holding her arms out in front of her face to stop people from shoving things in front of her and yelling "No!" over and over again. It was worse than Egypt, and ruined what could have been a really nice place to visit. Suddenly, all of the vendors started running, and it is Tom's theory that police had shown up. It was too late for us, though, as we were too freaked out to give the Bund a second chance.
We were close to our next destination, which was the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel. This is the entrance from street level on the Bund side of the river.
The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel is an automated tram system that takes visitors to the Pudong New Area on the other side of the river. Here is one of the cars turning in a circle after dropping off passengers. The tunnel features a light show that we will show you on our return journey shortly.
We emerged from the tunnel near the base of the Oriental Pearl Tower.
A very brief walk took us past the aggressive watch vendors to a nice viewing area along the river.
Looking across the river, we could see our ship at the pier.
We could also see the area of interest to the crowds we passed earlier, but we still had no idea why.
Turning back to the Pudong New Area side of the river, we saw close up the two huge glass globes that flank the Shanghai International Convention Center.
After our brief visit, we headed back through the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel. Come and enjoy the ride with us.
The tunnel features a variety of light effects, ...
... such as these moving laser spotlights, ...
... and this spooky section with moving inflated figures in the distance.
Up close, the figures swayed back and forth until they collapsed underneath our passing tram.
Here are thousands of tiny lights, ...
... and this red section represented the earth's molten core, according to the dramatic narration.
Finally, we passed by a series of circling lights, ...
... then our ride ended back on the Bund side of the river again.
The sightseeing tunnel's complex includes shops, vending machines, ...
... and a small arcade. Tom used a few yuan coins to test his strength on the Mr. Hammer machine. On our way out, we picked up a couple of Tsingtao beers for later consumption then headed back to the ship.
On our way back, the crowds around the bridge had not yet disappated, but now an enterprising man had brought his motorcycle and was selling the opportunity to stand on it to see over the blue fence to the attraction beyond.
We left China still not knowing what was happening, but Tom found out what was going on once we got back home: On this day, the first half of the Waibaidu Bridge was being dismantled and removed, and the second half was removed the next day. With any luck, this link with the story and photos will be active for a good long while (if not, we've saved a photo from the article here.). The bridge is barely visible just beyond a newer bridge in this photo. It is the section on the right that was being removed.
We walked through the city back to the cruise ship pier, marvelling at the volume of clothing drying outside. It made us feel much better about the endless parade of laundry gracing our cabin's bathroom.
We were tempted to shop at this store, but we resisted.
This block was graced with beautiful landscaping and a great view of the Abbott and Cosco buildings.
The sun was starting to peek out a bit as we approached the giant glass egg (nicknamed "June Bug" by Tom) and our ship.
We amused ourselves in the afternoon taking photographs of the Oriental Pearl Tower, ...
... both with and without Tom in the picture, ...
... and the river. Here is one of the many sightseeing boats plying the river, ...
... and here is one of two ships whose sole purpose is to display a printed billboard on one side ...
... and a video billboard on the other. Here's Haibao, the Expo mascot, once again.
We were scheduled to leave Shanghai at 5:00, but Chinese authorities were late in arriving and took hours to clear the ship. Once the ship was finally cleared (around 8:00 PM), we learned that we would not be leaving, because the authorities had just closed the Huangpu River to all traffic due to fog.

So, instead of enjoying a sailout at night, we watched the lights of Shanghai again, this time on a Sunday night, when minimal lighting is used all evening.

Day 15 >


Asia 2008: [Day 1 - Tokyo] [Day 2 - Kyoto] [Day 3 - Kobe] [Day 4 - At Sea] [Day 5 - Nagasaki] [Day 6 - Busan] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Dalian] [Day 9 - Beijing] [Day 10 - Beijing] [Day 11 - At Sea] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Shanghai] [Day 14 - Shanghai] [Day 15 - At Sea] [Day 16 - At Sea] [Day 17 - Hong Kong]

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