The River Boat Day

May 14

Another early day, another long commute. But the commute was from Xi’an to Shanghai and that meant bullet train. This ride was a little more enjoyable than the last, however. This time we worked it out that everyone in our row was on our trip, so I didn’t have be woken up at every stop for each new person to get off the train and then another person getting on the train. However, I slept a little less but was more productive, finishing a couple blogs on the ride. There was also a first for me on this ride. It was the first time I had ever had instant noodles. I liked them more than I had expected to and they were surprisingly flavorful. During the trip, I noticed that throughout the ride there were many half build cities. There were dozens of buildings under construction at the same time in each city. Not to mention that for the most part each building was identical and looked uninhabited (kind of creepy). In fact, there didn’t even appear to be anyone continuing to build the cities, nothing was moving.

Upon arriving in Shanghai, we were bussed from the train station to the Shanghai History Museum, but not before having to walk through what was a train station, subway stop, airport, and bus hub.

The museum depicted the changes in the city and the culture of the city over the past century as the Western world pushed its way into China through Shanghai. There was everything from the evolution of the cars on the streets to influential businesses in the area and the different architecture of houses of influential people who had lived in the area. It was obvious that Shanghai had been very westernized. But possibly the best part of the museum was that we were reunited with the guys who had been sick and were forced to stay in Beijing instead of going to Xi’an.

After the museum, the whole group went to dinner before a riverboat ride on the Huangpu River. At first, it looked like we were going to have to wait in a line for an hour or more, but for some reason, we got in a separate line. We still waited twenty minutes, but nobody cared because we had to tell the sick boys about Rocky and Xi’an.

On either side of the Huangpu River is the old city and the new city. The old city is the part that was built long ago but built up more as Europeans entered the area. This area is now home to many shops. The new city is where all of the skyscrapers are located and is more of what people think of as Shanghai. Our tour guide in Shanghai, Alex, told us that all of those buildings had been built in the past thirty or so years. On the boat were fantastic views of the Shanghai skyline. Everyone took the chance to overload their phones with as many group pictures, and selfies. But some people made it into a photo shoot and had several people shine their flashlights on them while someone else took glamour shots of them.

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