The day and a half that we spent in Shanghai was less than exciting, unfortunately. We were all looking forward to doing something in the warmer weather (5*C), but the weather, though warmer, was uninviting. It drizzled all day. All Day. We had moved from our serious cold-weather gear to mild cold-weather and rain-proof gear. Hoping for it to stop was quite in vain.
Unfortunately the things we wanted to do were just about all outside, with the exception of going to the top of the Jinmao Tower, and that would’ve been pointless because it was all clouded in. So we viewed The Bund (the river) then went under it in the ‘History of the Earth’ tunnel, which provided much amusement for Dave and De. It was the same, very corny 3 minutes of ‘the history of rivers including a section on the afterlife’, complete with flashing lights and music.
We then went to the base of the Pearl Tower (the one with the ball on it that you can see from The Bund), and bought some supplies for the last day or so (De and Dave were also heading on a warmer weather stop before they went back to Australia).
One thing we could do, regardless of the weather, was go for a ride on the Maglev train to the airport and back. It has a top speed of 430kph and the 30km journey is all over in 7 minutes. Low flying, very cool.
A trip to the Shanghai Museum looked the most appealing out of everything, and we made our way towards it. Alas, we were denied entry by the teeming hordes (well, quite a few of them anyway) of Public Bureau of Security guards. They were standing out the front of the museum, in clusters around the museum grounds, there were at least 20 in every single subway exit (eg Exit C1, C2, C3), in minivans next to the museum and they were only the ones in uniform.
Being curious and somewhat nosy, I donned my best ‘Hi, I’m a foreigner be nice to me’ smile, and approached some people who were talking to one of the guards. A few of them looked likely candidates for English, being University age, so I politely asked why we couldn’t go in. They said it was ‘Closed because of accidents’. From the context it wasn’t clear whether it was closed because there were going to be accidents, or there had been accidents. They didn’t say any more, so I thanked them and went back to the others.
Andrew took some surreptitious photos. There was nothing reported in any newspaper over the next few days. I wasn’t really expecting anything, but you never know. It did provide a good topic of conversation for the rainy afternoon. Maybe someone had been Shanghaied (please all insert a roll of the eyebrows over a bad pun ).
Suitably amused we jammed into a tiny corner in a Starbucks for a thaw and a drink. We were all feeling suitably tired from 3 weeks of travelling so we had a quiet night. The two of us went to a local noodle chilli shop for tea, just around the corner from our hotel, before catching an Australian Open final and retiring early for lots of Z’s.