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Published: October 24th 2014
Shanghai High Speed Trains, Elevators and Googling ;-)
What a high speed day this turned out to be as we entered the Shanghai train station to take the MagLev train to the airport and back. The airport is about 18 miles from the station and we will cover the distance in 7 minutes! The train, due to magnetic levitation 1 cm off the track, goes 250 mph (440 kmh). It is soooo smooth except when we experienced a 1 second “bump and jerk” as we passed a Maglev train going in opposite direction, for a combined speed of 500 mph! We sat across from a lovely young Asian couple who spoke English. She was born in Hong Kong and he was from Shanghai. He travels all over China for work. They said they were so surprised to see us on the train with no luggage and couldn’t figure out what we were doing. We explained we were on a tour and they started laughing… ah ha, mystery solved ;-)
Our English speaking tour guide, “Anjelica”, took us to the 3rd
tallest building in China, the Grand Hyatt, for a 40 second elevator ride to the
Mag Lev Train
431 KM per hour
floor, with ears popping all the way ;-). Once in the core of the building you could look down from the 88th
floor all the way to the lobby! Outside the windows we could look up
to the tallest building in China (and the 3rd
highest in the world) now under construction. The architect is from Manhattan Beach, California. When the Chinese said they wanted the tallest building in the world, it is said that he replied “No, you want the most beautiful building in the world ;-). Shanghai is a city growing right before your eyes with cranes and partially built skyscrapers everywhere. Right next to a budding skyscraper on the Bund side of the river you might see a traditional neighborhood, which will soon be gone. The government is relocating people. Our guide said that just yesterday her father signed an agreement to take money, instead of a new apartment in the suburbs, and move. She is going to take part of the money and take a trip to the states. Whenever one of our group had a question that Anjelica couldn’t answer she would say, “ Just a minute, I’ll google it” LOL.
Shanghai and the Hwangpu River
Tour over…. when we reached the ship, we jumped right on the shuttle for the Bund and had lunch at a SUBWAY (shades of home!). $4.25 for a 6” with “American Style” chips and a Coke lite. We wanted to go to the Bund, as we could stand and look at the river. We were told that between 1:00 and 2:00 our ship would leave the dock, go down the river and turn around so that we would be facing downriver when it was high tide. We would need to leave at high tide to have enough depth for the ship.
It was amazing to watch our ship turn around on the Hwangpu River. First it used it’s thrusters to move away from the dock, and then it backed
down the river for a quarter of a mile. Next it made a three-point turn just before the bridge, stopping all traffic on the river. Once it had turned around (took maybe 10 minutes) it then began backing up the river until it was, once again, even with our berth. Starboard thrusters then pushed the ship back to the dock. It was a little disconcerting to watch our
Old and New
Right next to a 60 story high rise- laundry
ship “sail away” ;-) Felt good to see it coming back!
The free market and consumer economy has been talked about by every one of our Chinese tour guides-how they love having money to spend on Western goods and it shows everywhere. The government owns many businesses too. Modern buildings and Western dress and beautiful brides everywhere, interspersed with “old” parts of town. Old and young men with bicycles laden with goods right next to a Beemer automobile.
Tonight, we left Shanghai at dusk on the high tide. As the spectacular city of Shanghai receded behind the first turn in the river, we were surrounded with barges. Looking out from our deck, the river was totally congested with 200 foot long barges laden with construction materials like sand, gravel, huge tree trunks for pilings, as well as tires, boxes, and bulk tankers. It is difficult to describe the magnitude of the barges headed up river. At any one time there were hundreds in front, beside and behind us. In the dark, they looked like salmon swimming up stream to spawn-it was that busy-red and green running lights on a “freeway”
Subway anyone ;-)
of river, two and three abreast as far as the eye could see-they just kept coming the entire 3 hours we were on the river headed to the East China Sea.
Apologies for where the photos are inserted... this blog site has a mind of it's own!! Next Port: Hong Kong, SAR (Special Administrative Region), China
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