The Bund and the Fastest Train in the World

So, we made it to Shanghai and after a good sleep we did a next day city tour. We started with a visit to a Buddhist Monastery, the site of the largest Jade Buddha in the world (no photos allowed!). It’s an interesting contrast, with the ultra modern city rubbing shoulders with such an old site.

From there we moved on to The Bund, the Shanghai Waterfront walk on the English Concession side. The Bund skyline reminds many people of Liverpool – the buildings were constructed at much the same time, and in some cases by the same people.

Facing the English Concession side across the river is the Pudong side of the city. Thirty years ago it was fields. Now it’s this….

One of the attractions of walking along the Bund is the Bronze Bull. If he looks familiar, that’s because its the same sculptor as the one on Wall Street, Manhattan. It’s quite difficult getting a photo of him without Tourists draping themselves over for increasingly stupid and irritating selfies, but eventually I managed with a combination of charm and menace.

From there we moved on to the French Concession area, a charming few blocks of French style architecture and pavement cafes. This building on the edge of the French Concession was the site of the very first CPC (Communist Party of China) congress, so its where it all started. It’s a place of pilgrimage for many party members.

With the Tour fast drawing to a close we visited an olde Shanghai restaurant for a Farewell Dinner. The restaurant (I always think of it as a sort of Shanghai Savoy Grill) has a delightful Art Deco feel to it. You struggle to know where in the world you are, but then the detail lets you know.

The following morning (today) was an early start for our ride out to Shanghai Airport on the MAGLEV (Magnetic Levitation) train – the fastest train in the world topping out at 430 Kph and serving the airport in 7 minutes. We travelled along at a fairly sedate 310 Kph. The train only runs at full speed for an hour a day. It’s too expensive to do that all the time, even for China!

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