Last Days in China!

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April 16th 2012
Published: April 16th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Memorial BellMemorial BellMemorial Bell

At the Memorial Museum of the Nanjing Massacre. Good memorial of a horrible time.
We spent three days in Nanjing and five in Shangai, our last towns in China. No pictures from Nanjing, because our whole reason for traveling there was to visit the museum commemorating the Nanjing Massacre. We spent a day at the museum, learning once again about what happens when military personnel are taught to hate their enemies, and to regard them as less than human. Here’s a brief description, taken from Wikipedia:

“The Nanking Massacre or Nanjing Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, was a mass murder, and war rape that occurred during the six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanjing (Nanking), the former capital of the Republic of China, on December 13, 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War. During this period hundreds of thousands of Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers were murdered by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army. Widespread rape and looting also occurred. Historians and witnesses have estimated that 250,000 to 300,000 people were killed.

This horrible period was well-documented by the Japanese and the museum was partially built over two of the mass graves. The Japanese troops were encouraged to use the civilians and military as training devices and there are many photos documenting murder by
Train TravelTrain TravelTrain Travel

Though the stations are REALLY crowded and people push, the whole system really works well. If only we had a working rail system in the US!
sword and bayonet, as well as mass rapes and use of the Chinese women as “comfort women” for the Japanese troops. Though it’s tastefully displayed, the information gives you an all-too-clear description of inhumanity.

We had decided that we didn’t need a guide in Nanjing, so I filled in and took us up a 40-minute ski lift ride on Purple Mountain. Beautiful! The mountain contains pagodas, temples, and Sun Yat Sen’s mausoleum, but we didn’t see them because my guidebook recommended that we use bus number 20 to travel between sites on the mountain. We boarded number 20, and drove quickly away from anything to do with the purple mountain. After watching for about 5 miles, we escaped the bus at a drum tower, explored it, and headed back to the hotel.

Next day, we took our last train trip in China, in first-class seats to Shanghai. Tom gave us a treat, reserving rooms at the 5-star Pudong Shangri La. Nice! Shanghai appears to be China’s financial center, and the city is full of skyscrapers, including the third highest in the world. The weather’s been foggy, so we’ve been walking without being able to see the
You Can Run ...You Can Run ...You Can Run ...

No matter where you turn, McDonald's is there ... turning the Chinese into fat people.
tops of most of the buildings. We enjoyed massages in the hotel’s spa and have had fun looking out the windows at the skyscrapers lit up with neon at night. Oh, by the way—they turn off all the fancy lights at about 10 pm and the city descends into gloom. I can’t imagine walking through those streets after midnight.

Tomorrow, we board a ship for our two-day trip to Osaka, Japan. I’m ready!

Additional photos below
Photos: 8, Displayed: 8


Nanjing City WallNanjing City Wall
Nanjing City Wall

Most of the wall has managed to survive since it was built in the fourteenth century.
Shanghai TV TowerShanghai TV Tower
Shanghai TV Tower

Right next to our hotel -- we took the picture from the hall window. This was as clear as it got, and we didn't bother going up.
Pudong DistrictPudong District
Pudong District

Our hotel, the Pudong Shangri-La, is located in the financial and business district.
The BundThe Bund
The Bund

It's a promenade built in the early 20th century, managing to survive the wars.
The FerryThe Ferry
The Ferry

Tomorrow, we leave on our two-day trip to Japan. I'm hoping for good weather!

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