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May 26, 2011

Seven six-layer days – Day Six

We left Xi’an for the relatively short, two hour, flight to Shanghai, anticipating warmer weather since it is farther south than either Xi’an or Beijing. Imagine our disappointment when we were greeted by pouring rain and cold. We were met by our tour guide, Rainbow. We were further disappointed and sad because we aren’t with the six people who didn’t go to Xi’an. They have their own guide and are touring separately from us. Who would think that we would feel so connected to people we met less than a week ago?

Rainbow immediately started us touring. We went to the famous area along the Huangpu River called the Bund. The word has Persian origins and means embankment or levee or dam. It rhymes with “fund”. This was the International area and still is. It is the financial and commercial center of the city. One can see some new, spectacular buildings. Unfortunately, in the pouring rain, it does lose some of its luster. There was a tiny, little MacDonald’s right there. They are really ubiquitous. Rainbow pointed out some of the famous buildings and equally famous sights. We dutifully peered through the rain and nodded, each of us thinking of a nice warm room at the hotel. I would guess that Rainbow is relatively new as a tour guide. Her presentations seem more like rote than either Brian or Mai.

McDonalds – China 2010

The Bund Shanghai-1 – China 2010

The Bund Shanghai-2 – China 2010

Rainbow and Carol – China 2010

We finally got to our hotel and were so glad to be there. In Beijing and here they are quite new, built for the Olympics. There is one feature that is rather strange, at least to our eyes. The bathrooms have a large window built into one wall. One can draw the blinds but it is still bright for the person in the bedroom at night. They are all five star and very nice. This hotel begins on the eighth or ninth floor and there is a separate elevator for the hotel lobby and then another elevator to the rooms.

We prepared to go to dinner. It was in a building with a souvenir shop on the ground floor and stairs to climb to get to the restaurant. There are a lot of stairs in China. After our meal we went to the ground floor and watched a woman doing intricate silk embroidery. I had seen some of this kind of work at the Nixon Library. Of course some of our group bought some pieces. The woman embroidering was cold too.

Silk Embroidery – China 2010

We piled in our little vehicle, some of us with parcels and packages of souvenirs and went back to our hotel. I think we were all glad to be there.

And it was morning and it was evening the sixth day.

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