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Published: September 1st 2011
Well we all got to bed at a reasonable hour last night after making friends with two Chinese guys who actually told us a lot about China, the one child policy and other bits of political information that were really interesting to know, and their English was excellent meaning the conversation was not strained (as it tends to be here with the Chinese!). We were all in bed by 9pm (there is very little fun to be had on a train) and after taking a travelsickness tablet I was out like a light and did not wake up until around 8am which was a huge result for me as I have not been sleeping well on these trains at all.
We had breakfast on the train consisting of the fruit we had with us and then proceeded to spend the next few hours back in our bunks reading and generally chilling out before our arrival in Shanghai. Before we knew it we were in Shanghai and our 23 hour journey had actually gone quite quickly. On arrival in Shanghai we were shocked to find an empty train station, we expected this city to be heaving but for some reason there were not many people around. We were met by the tour guide who packed us onto the bus to get to the hostel, the guide did not come with us as she had to wait for the rest of the group to arrive from Gullin as we now join back up with everyone tonight.
We arrived at the hostel and again were shocked to drive through the city and find it very quiet. Thankfully it is nice and sunny here, it is blue skies all the way and looks far more attractive than Beijing did. We literally all dumped our bags down in our rooms and were straight back out to explore the city as Lizzie leaves tomorrow and we wanted to see as much of Shanghai with her as we can. The six of us jumped on the metro and Lizzie went straight to YuYang Gardens whilst the rest of us headed to Nanjing Road. The metro was easy to navigate and again we were wondering where all the people were. We arrived at Nanjing Road, famous for its shopping and tailor made clothes and we were disappointed as it was not what we had expected it to be. We wandered the length of the road and did not see the kind of shops that we were looking for. We eventually met back up with Lizzie and the rest of the tour group outside the Peace Hotel that was along the Bund, a famous section of road that is opposite the Pearl Tower and the gorgeous skyline of Shanghai. The city really is lovely and as it was a city I was worried about not liking I must say I am pleasantly surprised. From the Bund we headed to dinner, something we were very excited about, we were starving! Dinner was in yet another faceless restaurant but the food was good. From dinner we were taken to the French Quarter, a very expensive area that was full of white people and felt more like London on a hot night than Asia!
It was here that we left the others and the six of us went off on our own to ensure that Lizzie got to see everything on her only evening here. We headed straight for the Bazar area and it was far better than the Nanjing had been! We did some souvenir shopping and from here we took a stroll back to the Bund to see it at night all lit up and it was beautiful. There were still not many people around and I could see how Shanghai could grow on people, the city has a great vibe to it and I have a feeling I am going to really like it tomorrow as well when we explore further. However, for now, we have headed back to the hostel and we will be saying goodbye to Lizzie tomorrow morning as she catches her flight back to London to begin her new life as a student doctor, and I just want to wish her all the luck in the world. Thanks for a great trip Lizzie, I'll miss you and I love you lots my China friend!!
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