Shanghai with its 24 or so million inhabitants is a seamless melding of East and West and so I felt a sense of familiarity about the city when we first arrived. The three days we spent there were as busy as all the previous days had been.
On Friday night we managed to catch up with our daughters and their friend who had arrived two days before us. We had dinner in the French Concession and opted for Wagyu steaks from Australia. That night it began to rain and the temperature dropped. The rain was to continue the next day at Adelaide Arena for the game.
It was a little disappointing that the match on Saturday was played in the wet, but it did feel very much like going to the footy on a Saturday afternoon in Adelaide. A victory was what the fans had come for and the team delivered. An amazing goal by Sam Powell-Pepper scored while on his back was described by many as a certain contender for goal of the year and it happened right under my very gaze.
That evening, the girls and I met for drinks at the Vue Bar on the 32 floor of
the Hyatt but unfortunately, there was more fog than view.
On Sunday we visited a traditional Chinese garden. It was beautiful. We also visited the Silk Museum and had lunch in the French Concession quarter. A walk along the Bund earlier in the day had been bracing and a little bleak under a fine drizzling rain. Dinner that evening was consumed on a cruise boat and the Shanghai lights by night proved mesmerising despite the continuous drizzle.
Monday was spent taking a day trip to Suzhou a city first settled 2,500 years ago and with only 12 million inhabitants a mere baby. The Master of the Nets garden was a little gem of a place. We were suitably in awe of the very fine embroidery at the factory and many people opted to buy some of the moderately priced souvenirs. A canal cruise on an old barge was our final activity. Many friendly waves and hellos were exchanged between passing vessels and the odd wave from the murky canal threatened to splash us too. Our time in Shanghai had come to an end and the Yangtze River, a much mightier tributary called. After eight days of grey skies, smog and
fog I did wonder whether the Chinese people ever get to see blue skies.
Post script: our last few hours on Monday night we’re spent listening to the oldest jazz band in the world at the Peace Hotel on The Bund. Sublime place!
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