Shangai with a nice itinerary

IMG_6872After a good two hour delay of our flight we finally arrived at Pu-Long airport. The breeze of fresh air, clear sky (not blue but still) and actual bushes and green grass made a good impression. Topped off with a much nicer airport and about 10 degrees warmer it seemed I would like Shanghai more than Beijing.

While driven to our hotel Laura actually started to film how the guy was switching lanes. It looked like a video game, I wouldn’t call it unsafe but he did drove pass an ambulance with flashing lights on the inside. In Beijing everyone drives like crazy but it’s mostly fender bender accidents since the speeds are so low. So far it seems that in Shanghai the tempo is a bit higher.

When we arrived at our hotel it looked very promising, a guy called Mathias has set everything up including getting us rooms for a very nice price. We had e.g. bathtubs in the room and a nice flat screen TV for 35 € per double. Like this wasn’t enough he has compiled a detailed itinerary for the ~20 people that will be attending. Complete with addresses, numbers and names it looks awesome. Mathias does groups of tourist now and then and said that we would pull some strings for my traveling in Tibet, sa-weet.

IMG_6890When strolling to the restaurant we were having lunch at I was fascinated by the sights in Shanghai. Really nice skyline, parks and people seem friendlier and happier here.
IMG_6889Today we were going to a rather posh place called Laris for dinner (after some cocktails at another place) so it was time to dress up. The place was nice indeed, the interior was marble all over, linen cloth at the bathroom and needless to say the view was awesome. After enjoying our courses we did the mistake of trying to sort out the bill. Since Helen doesn’t drink alcohol it seemed rather fair, after a good half hour we decided that in the future the rest would split after deducting her bill.

We moved on to a club called Glamour for more drinks but three different clubs doesn’t count as a night so we were off to find this newly opened club Mathias had heard about. We found the club but getting there was harder. It seemed like a good idea at the moment to run the escalators in the wrong direction and the sight of Ulf running with Tara heaved over his shoulder and struggling to reach the last step while Alex almost felling over in front was awesome. I think that someone managed to catch it on their camera, I sure hope so.

When we finally got back to the hotel I asked for internet access and they told me that they would send up a guy with a cable to my room right away. Which meant that my room now is considered to be the internet cafe for the six of us.

Pain, Pleasure and Thanksgiving

IMG_6828I started my day by redeeming my sins at the dentist, Laura joined and studied the local dentist. According to her he was somewhat sloppy regarding the check-up and more focused in straightening my teeth (not yet, thanks for the compliment though). It was about half the swedish price though, the X-rays revealed that there was more work to do though. Laura recommended me to do that in Sweden though, I already long for that bill.

After being such a good boy I decided to treat myself with a new lense for my camera. I bought a Sigma 18-200 OS and Ulf didn’t want to look cheap so bought one for his Nikon as well. We strolled around playing with our lenses and ended up on a chinese McDonald’s to see if they had any chinese menus. Which of course they did, tasted better and was about 1.5 € each, still I managed to get > 75 % of my daily recommended dosage of fat and a fair amount of sugar as well so I guess it’s same same.

We also took the opportunity to check out the subway system. It was quite fast and convenient (although Tokyo is still number one) but it was only five lines so I can see why people prefer the cheap taxis. We found the Llama Temple but it had too much commercial look of it so we left for home. Alex father Ray and his wife Florence had invited us for thanksgiving dinner so we decided to get back to the hostel.

My first thanksgiving dinner ever was nice, good food and nice discussions. We decided to get to bed rather early though as Henry would drive usto the airport at 06 and we needed to pack and check-out before that.IMG_0961

Walking the Great Wall

IMG_6792Today it was time for some long-sought-for culture, one can only see so many markets as Rhys put it. Alex father was kind to let us borrow their chauffeur Henry so we wouldn’t have to do the tourist groups. We decided to head for a of Great Wall that was close to the Ming tombs. We decided to walk up and stroll around which despite the standard fog/smog gave a quite few spectacular sights.original-2
It was very impressive and you could feel the breeze of history thinking of those poor mongolian barbarians which the wall was aiming to keep out of China. After a hour and a half we decided that we had taken enough photos and decided to go down.
IMG_6767According to lonely planet the slide down was a “total waste of money” (not that great review regarding the cost of 3 €) but I trusted Lotta’s (thanks preggie ;)) scribbled “yeah right” in the margin. Usually these kind of attractions mean low speed and painstaking security measurements, not in this case. When a sign said “slow down” I felt that it really was a good idea, it looked like a long tumbling down if falling over in a curve. All went well though and Laura caught a picture at the finish showing how dignified my descent was.
We decided to eat and had some awesome dumplings and a cup of rip-off tea Henry drove us to the Ming Tombs. It seemed that the old emperors wanted to be buried with style. I wasn’t very impressed to be honest, but I did find the sign at the entrance quite interesting.IMG_6813We decided it was best to follow despite the sensual effect a bunch of wooden coffin replicas had on us. Outside again Ulf and I realized that setting our cameras in “cloudy” mode brought some more colors to our photos. Well, it’s good to know when you get wiser. Rhys wanted to get back to Aria to chat with Bruce Li again but we decided that a cheap meal and some sleep was more what we needed.