Qing ren jie kuai le! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Disclaimer: Weather makes a big difference in one’s perception when visiting a place for the first time.
That said, I wasn’t bowled over by Shanghai. I don’t know if it’s because it was SNOWING when I arrived, was gloomy the whole weekend, or it was just too big for me to get a sense of the people. I think it’s more of the latter.
I arrived at around noon on Friday and it was snowing and it continued for a good portion of the afternoon. The rest of the day was wet, cold, dark, and miserable. We walked to lunch which was in the same complex as the hotel so we didn’t even walk out into the weather. We had dim sum at Din Tai Fung. It wasn’t cheap but oh my, it was delicious. It was so good that we went back for lunch on Sunday before we went to the airport. We spent the rest of the day in our room and horror of horrors, ordered room service for dinner. That’s how crummy it was outside. Getting the email from J put a spark back into us and suddenly Saturday was looking brighter.
As I said yesterday, we met J and his colleague E for a bit of shopping and then went out for an early lunch. Again, the restaurant was fabulous. The Lost Heaven is a restaurant that specializes in Yunnan food and couldn’t have been better. It was across the street from The Bund which is the name of the riverfront walk in Shanghai. It was a pleasant walk. I can only imagine how beautiful it must be when the sun is out and there are leaves on the trees. The skyline is spectacular.
We walked to Shanghai’s most famous shopping street, Nanjing Road. It was very crowded and quite honestly, we were not impressed. We did walk by an Apple store and it was packed. There was a line inside the store that easily had 150+ people waiting!
It was as we were making our way to Yu Gardens that we met sweet Mr. C from yesterday’s post. After our pearl shopping and tea tasting J and E had to leave to prepare for a meeting so just Anders and I went in the garden. It was beautiful, of course. It was fun because it is rather like a maze. I’m sure we didn’t see all of it but I would go back to Shanghai just to see the garden in full bloom, or any bloom for the matter. 😉 The bazaar around Yu Gardens is a full of shops selling pearls, traditional Chinese medicines, food, and souvenirs. Mr. C told us that the buildings were only 10 years old and that kind of turned me off. Anders and I didn’t linger there after exiting the gardens.
We were leaving Sunday but had time in the morning to visit a Buddhist Temple that was a 15 minute walk from our hotel. Jing’an Temple was spectacular. It was odd that way it was surrounded by ultra-modern skyscrapers. I could barely take a picture without one of them in the background. But again, that’s China and very indicative of the country: they preserve the ancient amidst the new. Lots of people were throwing coins into the large incense burner. It was 30 feet tall and had the most wonderful little bells on the eaves that chimed every time the wind blew. They must have been made of tin because it was a light tinkling sound and they were everywhere. I actually didn’t mind when the cold wind blew because the sound of the bells was so sweet.
Three things made our visit to Shanghai great; seeing J again, Din Tai Fung and the Lost Heaven restaurants, and Mr. C! If the weather had been nicer I’m sure I would have had a very different impression of the city. I have checked the box on Shanghai and am planning our next adventure in China. I think it has to be Xi’an to see the terracotta warriors only I believe we have to wait until April. Anders said he doesn’t care where we go, he just doesn’t want to deal with cold weather!
4PM – 80° 🙂