Day 8: Hello, Shanghai!

Another early morning catching another bullet train, this time to our final destination: Shanghai. I woke up excited and ready to see the city that Dr. Li said was always the favorite city of the students on the trip in years before. The train ride was almost exactly the same length as the last bullet train ride, so we had another six hour ride ahead of us. I spent most of the ride trying to catch up on some sleep. We also met with our project groups and Dr. Li checked in on how our final projects are coming along.

As we were walking out of the station in Shanghai we were surprised to see that the huge train station also connected to a bus terminal as well as the airport. We went outside and got on our bus, but instead of going straight to the hotel we went to the Shanghai history museum, and then a cruise on the Huangpu River, and then finally the hotel to check in.

I knew as soon as I saw the skyscrapers that Shanghai would be my favorite city. Driving into the city we saw super modern buildings, and some were so tall you could barely see the top of them. We also passed areas that had buildings that looked like they had no business being in a Chinese city. Our tour guide then told us that Shanghai has areas with French and Russian style architecture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I thought it was really interesting to see the different architectural styles contrasting each other.

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Before going into the museum, we were reunited with the seven boys who were unable to make it to Xi’an because they got sick on our last night in Beijing. With our group back up to 24 students, we walked through a mall to get to the museum. Most people made their way through the museum pretty quickly, but I stayed back with some friends and read all the signs about Shanghai’s rich history.

I was really hungry by the time we left the museum, which was great because dinner was next on our list. We had a separate room in the restaurant just for us. This is always a good idea, because our group tends to stand out (in China, at least) because of how loud we are. The dinner was another classic family style meal and again it was delicious.

We left the restaurant and it was starting to get dark for the evening cruise on the river. The line of people waiting to get on the cruise was super busy but we had some kind of fast-pass so we got to skip a lot of the wait. With three floors, the boat had a lot of space on it but of course most people flocked to the top deck to get the best view of the iconic Shanghai skyline. The weather was beautiful and all of the colorful lights from the skyline proved to us that Shanghai is a city that never sleeps.

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We took lots and lots of pictures and admired the beautiful skyline. I really loved the cruise, it was a fantastic way to end our first day in Shanghai. I’m really looking forward to spending the next few days in such a beautiful city!

 

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