Friday, November 10, 2006

Xian and Shanghai

On the second, and last day in Xian we wandered off the few blocks to the south gate. Here we planned to get shots of people exercising in the park. But mostly there were musicians playing bamboo pipes, flutes and the occasional erhu. Betty and I wandered back down the calligraphy street and then I headed off to the Eight Immortals Temple. There are not many Daoist temples left in China. On the way I left the city walls behind and ended up in a residential area. There were lots of school children and they sent me the right way as I had travelled one block too far to the north. Again, I had some discussions with them in chinese and english and had groups of up to 20 children tagging along behind.

The temple was not a lot different in design to the buddhist temple, just the deities are the 8 immortals. I took some photos before heading back to the hotel. Here we met and caught the train to Shanghai.

In the train, we were split up. I shared a cabin with Eliot, the other Brian and a chinese woman who has lived in California for the last ten years. She knew little english and had a retinue of 4 young men (we presume family) to get all of her bags onto the train. The others named her the dowager princess. They did not enjoy sharing the cabin, though I was less concerned. We swapped bunks, and because the lower bunk is more expensive, she wanted to pay the difference. But I did not want the money. So after a 16 hour journey, we finally arrived in Shanghai.

It is good to be back here. It is the first place I visited in China, and it is still somewhat special to me. It is the best hotel so far. We went down Nanjing Dung Lu to theBund. I need to get back there at night to see if i can get a repeat shot of my favorite china photo. But I cannot remember which corner I was standing on. After that we headed off to Pudong and went up to a cocktail bar on the 87th floor of a building. It was excellent. We also had a great lunch and dinner down in the French concession. So the food here is Shanghai is excellent modern chinese cuisine.


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