Monday, October 24, 2011

if you are reading this its a miracle

Ing I left Hong Kong on the flight just before noon and it was a long morning just to reach the plane!! A 10minute walk to the MTR station, then when I changed onto the Airport Express it was down 3 flights and then back up 3 flights of stairs, only to miss a train by 20 seconds and have to wait nearly 7 minutes for the next. The airport check in was easy – my visa worked - but to get to the plane it was a 10 minute walk, followed by a 2 minute train ride and then a bus across the taxi ways to a terminal in the middle of nowhere, where we finally boarded the plane. The only thing missing was a boat.

On arrival in Shanghai, I boarded the Maglev train which takes you into et city in about 8 minutes at 301Kph!! Hell, that’s fast and a lot of fun!! A quick change onto the underground subway and after a 5 minute walk I arrived at the hostel just before 4pm. I’m now all checked in and am going to go out and explore!!

Right – its now 9pm and I'm in a bar, with a pint and a footy on the telly (its only Wolves V Swansea, but tomorrow its the Manchester Derby!) I’m loving Shanghai – The buildings are all so fooking cool! Its as if there has been a competition to build something cool and everybody won!!

I took a walk to the Bund, which is the river-front parade, where all the cool pictures are taken of tourists in front of the skyline. I didn’t take many pics today, but had a good look around and planned to re-visit when its a bit quieter sometime. I also wandered down the main street here in Shanghai, where all the shops are and the tourists throng to see all the sights. It was really nicely lit up at night and as well as that there was a crowd of people in the street watching a saxophonist playing on a balcony over the street. It was great!!

I have been playing on the internet and while the 'work around', I have for Facebook works, it is really strange. My computer has never acted like this – Sometimes going backwards a page on the internet, instead of going forward or telling me it cant do anything. It is if there is someone working my keyboard remotely, which I suspect is true to an extent. There is definitely something going on that I am not aware of. Some pages load instantly, others pause for ages and then stop or like I say, go backwards!! Hmm, me suspects Big Brother! Because of this 'problem', I may not be able to post my normal stuff to my blog, unless I get someone else to do it for me........



Its now morning (I just had to check what day it is – Its Sunday – haahaa, I love it that I don’t know what day it is. I’m sitting upstairs in the cafĂ© of the hostel and 'The Carpenters', are playing on the stereo – Haahaa, all I need is the Sunday papers and it would be a perfect Sunday morning. I met my room mates when I got in last night. Davina, is from London and is here in Shanghai doing a pottery course. The other girl in the dorm, is Asian, but sounds American. She doesn’t say a lot. The last of our room is a local lad, who makes 'mmmmmm', noises while he sleeps and as usual, gets up at random hours and does random stuff. Weird!

I’m heading off out soon. I have walked about 50 miles this week – that’s no exaggeration, so today I am gonna be lazy and get one of the open top tour buses that you can hop on and off as you go around town.

Well I am back and it was a reasonably good day. My first stop was actually Peoples Park, just across the road from the Hostel. It was quite busy as its Sunday – and there is a weird thing where people line the parks walkways with 'CV's for their single sons and daughters – trying to find them a partner – its very strange to watch as people come up to old mums and dads and ask questions about their kids – who aren’t even there!!

Then I rode the bus for an hour and a half and while there was a bit to see, it wasn’t half as good as some of the places I have visited. It was very cheap however and a lovely relaxing way to see bits of the city I wouldn’t have otherwise gone to, like the old city walls and French Concession. After the bus (during which a few locals fell asleep!) I took et Bund sightseeing tunnel under the river. This is a random, little tunnel that rather than just walk through, they load you onto a really modern trolley system and transport you through the tunnel with a light show and weird sounds popping in your ears. It is the closest thing in real life to riding the boat in Willy Wonkas chocolate factory!! But I thought it was ace.

Then the highlight of my day and the main reason I came to Shanghai – To get to the top of the Shanghai World Financial Centre (SWFC, yes all you Sheffield Wednesday Fans will be getting confused!) It is the worlds third tallest building according to all the bumph, but has the highest observation platform in the world at 474 metres! I loved it, even if the views weren’t as spectacular as those I had in Hong Kong, they were still great. I had to get down though and get back to the hostel and get changed as tonight I’m off back to the bar I went to yesterday and to watch the Manchester Derby. No mention will ever be made about tonight’s game again.

Day 3 in Shanghai and I was glad I did my sightseeing yesterday as I woke up to the sound of rain. It wasn’t half as bad as what we had in Vietnam or Thailand, so I will be going out somewhere today, but I don’t think Ill be getting soaked just for the sake of it.

I ended up on the Subway riding down to where the Expo was held here last year. They still have quite a bit to see there fro free, so I wandered down past the Chinese Pavilion, a massive traditionally built, but modern building that housed a lot of the expo and became a famous building in its own right. There are also a few other things about – like two giants silver pandas, that appear to be having a fight!

I got to the river where the Chinese version of Sydney Harbour bridge is. It is almost a modern copy of the Harbour Bridge, you can even climb it, in just the same way as Sydney too. I took a few pics of the area and the rain started to get heavier, so I rode back on the subway and went to do some shopping. Its is now starting to get colder and, especially in America, I’m gonna get cold, so I needed to replace my warm weather ,thin fleece, with something a bit thicker and warmer. I found a North Face shop and bought myself a decent and quality new fleece! Its still raining, so tonight it looks like a quiet night relaxing, before I head south tomorrow to Huangshan.

If you can see this email me at radavey@hotmail.com to let me know!! ta!

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