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Friday, December 23, 2016

Shanghai, China

Dear Family and Friends,

We flew to Shanghai, arriving in the evening.  We were tired, it was rainy and we pretty much fell into bed.

The next morning we awoke and I looked out our hotel window.  Below was a school and the school kids were filing onto the school ground for their morning exercise. They got into neat rows and were following a leader in a routine of stretching.   

After breakfast, we all got on the bus for a day of sightseeing. First we went to the Bund. The Bund is right next to the Huangpu river and has been the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years.  It divides the city with old Shanghai being on one side and Pudong (new Shanghai) being on the other.  In the picture below you can see Pudong with it's iconic Oriental Pearl TV tower.  

This is a view back towards the old Shanghai. This area was built by the UK in the late 1800's and early 1900's. It was the financial and political center of the city.

The Bund is most likely the number one tourist spot in Shanghai.

After that we went to see hand embroidery and hand carpet weaving being done. It was very interesting to watch this lady with her fine thread creating this picture. 

The picture below is all done by hand embroidery. Awesome work and, of course, it was all for sale.

The lady below is weaving a rug by hand. We have seen this done in Ecuador much the same way as she is doing it here.

Here are some examples of the hand woven rugs that were available for purchase. They were all beautiful.

We went to this modern day replica of an old Chinese shopping district. It contained stores for tourists. When I say tourists, I do not mean only foreigners but mostly Chinese tourists.

The shopping area was fun because it gave you the sense that you were in old Shanghai and not the modern city of skyscrapers that Shanghai is now.

We even saw this guy making money with this old peep show contraption.  He would tell the story as the viewer watched about 3 minutes of action. Apparently, you sit and look through the peepholes and watch some sort of primitive flip pictures.

That evening we told all of our family and new friends goodbye.  They were all leaving the next morning headed back home.  

The next day, Chuck and I had a free day to wonder around the city.

As you know, the Chinese have had a one child per family policy since 1979.  Starting last year that policy has been changed to allow two children per family.  However, I got the since from our guide that most families do not want more than one child now days.  They say it costs so much to raise and educate a child that one is enough.

Well, looking at things like a grocery store with only food for children and other specialty shops around the city, I do not doubt that it is expensive to raise a child here.

Chuck and I spent the day wondering around the city and that evening we packed our bags to be ready for our flight to Zhangjiajie the following day.

Zhangjiajie is in southern China. Most first time visitors to China do the tour we just finished. Southern China is not visited often by foreigners, but thousands of Chinese tourists visit there. I am looking forward to sharing this beautiful part of China with you.

I am going to take a break from posting to the blog during the Holidays.  I will return to our travels in early January.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year filled with peace and love.


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