Day 12: Last day in Shanghai

This morning we had a hard time getting up, both because we went to bed quite late, but also because I started feeling a bit sick last night and therefore didn’t sleep too well. I woke up with a cold this morning, and we’ve both struggled with running noses the whole day. When it’s 36 degrees and 60-80% humidity most days, and we go in and out from airconditioned places, it was bound to happen – luckily it wasn’t until the very end!

We got ready and decided to skip the quite expensive breakfast at our hostel, and set off to see the Jade Buddha Temple. We took a minor accidental detour from the metro station and ended up having lunch in a mall before going to the temple. When we got to the temple our initial reaction was, that it was much more commercial than what we had seen on both Beijing and Xi’an. The Jade Buddha statue itself was very beautiful, but in general there were a lot of shops on the temple grounds, a big canteen and people living there. So it didn’t seem as sacred and calm and quiet.

After the Jade Buddha Temple, we decided to go have a look at the Jing’an Temple, but from what we had read it was rebuilt in 2010, and has been moved around a lot. Moreover we felt like we had seen quite a lot of impressive temples already, so we decided to save the entrance fee here and move on to our next stop of the day, which was more for my engineering curiosity; the Maglev museum (Maglev is a type of super fast train that uses electromagnetism).

In Shanghai they have built a Maglev track from the Pudong Airport to the city (around 30 kilometers) which the train drives in just 8 minutes at more than 400 km/hour. The Maglev train is based on electromagnetism, and the train actually floats on top of the rails, thereby eliminating the necessary friction for driving a train on normal rails. The museum was free and quite interesting – constructed in a way that it started with early means of transportation, and explained along the way how the technology was developed and is now implemented and used. At least the engineer in me finds it interesting 😀

After the museum we took a subway back to People’s Park, which we didn’t really get to see yesterday, and had a walk around there. A very nice park in the middle of a huge city. We were both starting to feel a bit better, although our noses were still running, so we took a nice relaxing stroll through the park. As Eszti has never been to a real game arcade before, we decided to go back to the K-Mall so we could try to win a stuffed toy, but unfortunately without any luck. We ended up having a bit earlier dinner in the mall at a Korean Ramen restaurant, as we had never tried that before. It was very delicious, and the soup was also just what we needed to feel better again.

After our dinner we decided to walk back to the hostel along the East Nanjing Road, and have a look at some of the shops on the way. This is the biggest shopping street in Shanghai, with lots of people everywhere. The street is lined with 7-8 story malls, where you can buy everything, but no copy-brands though.

Back at the hostel we needed to relax a bit and catch up with some of the translations of the blog. I had read about a jazz bar at one of the fine hotels close to the Bund, and as we are both into jazz music, we decided to go there to have a look. When we came in it turned out, that people not staying at the hotel has to spend a minimum amount of money in the bar, which we didn’t bring enough money along for, so we just took a stroll down the Bund and enjoyed the skyline at nighttime again, before walking back to the hostel (hunting for an ice cream on the way 🙂 )

We are now back and are getting ready for bed soon. We have talked about getting up early to get a morning view of the Bund, which is supposed to be buzzing with life of people doing their morning tai-chi/kung fu exercise, but let’s see how we are feeling in the morning.

Eszti & Simon

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