It feels like we are in the middle of Times Square. We decided for our first day to just walk around this area. We are quite close to the Bund along the Huangpu River, so we walked along Beijing Road towards that area.We encountered blocks and blocks lined with hardware “stores” – some were more like stalls full of magnets, valves or other hardware bits. I wasn’t sure if Bill would leave the area, he hadn’t seen such a lovely collection of hardware since walking down Canal Street. But we kept walking, just knowing these stalls are nearby is enough for now.
At one point we crossed a street, behind us the hardware stalls, and in front of us Armani! All of a sudden we were in the high end tourist area, obviously close to the Bund. There is a walkway along the water the length of the Bund, so we went up there.Across the river is Pudong, and the iconic Oriental Pearl TV Tower. A Chinese man started talking to us, giving some history of the area, very friendly. He gives tours part-time and wanted to show us the old city, but we weren’t ready for a tour. We were in the mood to just walk around and see things for ourselves. We continued along the river, enjoying our leisurely pace. It’s quite cool here, and windy, so not exactly the best weather for walking about. And you can see from the photos that it’s foggy. When added to the smog of this city, it makes visibility quite low.
We wandered back along different streets, pedestrian streets and alleys. The big streets are busy and noisy. The pedestrian streets and alleys are busy and noisy also, but in a different way.There are sidewalks, but many walk in the street, but either way those on scooters often come up behind you beeping until you jump out of their way.
We had read that traffic honors the bigger vehicle, and all vehicles trump pedestrians. So we are quite cautious when crossing any street. It turns out that stop signs don’t mean a thing, no one even slows down. We usually wait to see when others cross, we figure there’s strength in numbers.We had lunch at a cafeteria style restaurant under the river walkway. Nothing too special, but tasty and filling. As we walked back to the hotel we passed lots of little restaurants that we’d like to try another day. Anne wants us to try unusual things, but I will probably leave that to Bill, he’s much more adventurous with food than I am. The food in the lounge at our hotel is a mix of Chinese and continental, lots of cakes, cheeses and small plates. I’m having more sweets than normal, everything is so pretty I want to try them all! And lo and behold, an Apple Store! It was crowded, as you can see. What you can’t see from this distance is how many blue-shirted Apple employees there are mixed in the crowd. They are ready for you if you are ready to buy. As with all Apple stores, it’s open and spacious. There is a circular staircase going downstairs, where all the accessories live. We were out walking for 4-5 hours, and very much ready to relax when we got back to the hotel. The lounge is really lovely on the 37th floor, and the people so friendly and helpful. We had a drink (Tsingtao beer) and some cheese and pastry. And made our way back to the room and to bed by 9pm. So naturally we were awake around 4am. Time is very funky when you are in a 13 hour time warp.
Posted: Shanghai time, Friday, February 24, 6:00am