Shanghai is a city of many looks. The old, as exemplified by the Bund and its Colonial Era buildings; the new as in Pudong where modern architecture dominates the skyline; or the really, old as in Yu Yuan Gardens where the traditional buildings, gardens, and pools provide a feeling of calm and tradition in the middle of a bustling city. In the morning, we chose to explore Fuzhou Street and its many craft stores, bookshops and cafes. The hands-down favorite was “The Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore” (390 Fuzhou St.) It is a 6-floor building across the street from another multi-storied crafts center. The ground-floor coffee shop is handy for a quick break from shopping! Following the morning’s shopping spree, we lugged our new books down Nanjing Street to the historic Fairmont Peace Hotel for High Tea.
On Day 2, we made our way to the French Concession where we shopped the tiny boutiques in the warehouse area and ended the day with pizza and beer at the SML Mall. The smog in Shanghai (all over China, for that matter) is always bad but seems to be even worse right now. Perhaps it’s the time of year.
We’ll be spending a few days at sea as we head over to Hong Kong. Later in this voyage blog, I’ll give a run-down of all those things available to passengers on board the MS Amsterdam to keep us entertained. But, before I close-out Shanghai, I want to tell you about a story told to me at dinner the other night. A table-mate related her visit to Pearl Harbor. She was born December 7, 1938 and vividly remembered her 3rd birthday and the fear and trauma of that day. She has been deeply affected by the shock and terror of that time and carried that angst with her all her life. Upon visiting the USS Arizona Memorial on this cruise, she found a peace and sense of closure. Even more amazing, later in Nagasaki, she met a man who survived the bombing of his childhood city. The two of them talked; they shared the trauma. Perhaps, he too, found a sense of closure. Travel can be so amazing!