March 17, 2010- At Sea (Day 13)
Nothing eventful to report....Thank Goodness. We had a wonderful relaxing day at sea. We packed some since our last night onboard would actually be an overnight in Shanghai. We had dinner with a big group of friends that we met onboard, share stories and pictures, etc.
March 18, 2010- Shanghai, China (Day 14)
Let me start out by saying that Shanghai is basically the Asian financial capital. Even though it is Asian NYC, it is still quite poor. Maybe some businesses are doing well, but I would say overall the majority of the people are well below poverty level. Which seems pretty consistent across China as a whole....or at least what I saw of the average person.
The shopping district was pretty cool. I did do a little shopping there. I got myself a Chinese embroidered purse...which I've yet to carry. But I will (this message is for D...lol). I bought a toddler Chinese boy outfit and a toddler Chinese girl dress...and a pair of baby Chinese booties. They seem to be very good quality, but in total only cost me about $10 USD. Yes, in some ways it's crazy to buy clothing for future children, but on the flip side I probably will never return to china (unless I adopted a child from there) so this was my one opportunity.
See how busy the market was?
The bridge, in the above pic, is a zig zag bridge. It is located near the Yuyuan Gardens and the Market. It was built this way because it was believed that the evil spirits would have a hard time following them across the bridge (evidently evil spirits can only go in a straight line?!).
This place was absolutely gorgeous. We were there around 10am and the light coming int through all the different nooks and crannies was so beautiful.
After touring the Yuyuan Gardens, we visited the Jade Buddha Temple.
See the red cushy stools at the foot of the idols? Thats where Buddhists coming to pray to these non-living gods would kneel down. Very sad.
As I was taking this picture, a worker there at the temple asked me was I taking pictures because I was Buddhist. I said, No. I am taking pictures to remember it. Are you Buddhist? He laughed and said, "No don't tell" in broken English. The tour group I came with was moving on upstairs, so I didn't get to ask him anything else.
The above 2 pictures are a replica of the Jade Buddha. In the room with the Jade Buddha, you're not allowed to take pictures. Believe me though, it just a big, hunk of Jade. Yet, people still prayed to it. I accept the fact that people pray to gods other than The Living God, but I seriously don't understand it. I don't understand how you can expect a big ole' hunk of Jade to do anything for you.
The Jade Buddha Temple is a gorgeous place, yet filled with no hope....only Jade.
D's fave place to grab a quick bite to eat. Did you know McD's around the world have different foods? You may not even wanna know what this McD's could have! We actually didn't eat there, but we have probably eaten at under the arches in 10 or more countries. Yes, I know. Shame on us. But D loves the place and how can you say no to that gorgeous smile of his?
This is an ABOVE average apartment building. It is QUITE nice in comparison to what we mostly saw around town. See the metal structures sticking out from the windows. That's your typical Chinese clothes dryer.
After the tour around Shanghai, we returned to the ship to pack. We were staying overnight on the ship and then flying home the next day. We thought the night would be a peaceful last night onboard the Quest, but all night we had random party and gambling ships passing. Their skyline wasn't quite as awesome as Hong Kong, but still provided some unique buildings that were lit up at night.
The next morning we woke up and got ready to head home. Porting there with us was 2other previously Renaissance ships. When Renaissance Cruises went out of business with 8 practically new ships they were sold...Azamara has 2, Oceania has 3, and Princess has 3. Docked with us that morning was one of the Princess purchased ones and one of the Oceania purchased ones....pretty crazy to all be in Shanghai at the same time. The pic below is of one of the pulling up to the dock.
Well, that was the end of a sampling of our trip pics, but I have one last post to make.
Next and Last Asian post...focus on the Azamara Quest.
to be continued...
(did you miss the beginning of our trip to Asia? Click HERE to view)