• Day4

    Old Shanghai

    October 7, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

    Our tour of Shanghai resumed today after yesterday’s unfortunate accident. We began by visiting Old Shanghai. This area retained many of the old buildings in the city and for many years was nearly in ruins. A few years ago the city government cleaned up the neighborhood and rebuilt some of the old public buildings. The result is a magnificent “new” old city. A lovely marketplace attracts both tourists and locals to a place where they can dine, snack, wander, meet friends or just hang out.

    The Buddhist Temple of the Jade Buddha is one of the most important in China. It claims several of the largest and most important statues of the Buddha in the world. Before 1949 approximately 90 percent of the Chinese population were Buddhist. Now the number of Chinese who claim any religion is far less. Less than one percent are Christians.

    We enjoyed a delicious Chinese meal at a local restaurant before driving over to the museum.

    Though I missed our own private visit to the Shanghai Museum yesterday because of Mary’s accident, we visited the museum today with our tour group. Normally it is closed on Monday, but because this is the week of National Day, the exhibits were open today. Glenda showed me the collection of bronzes, some dating from 2000 years before Christ. I never knew Chinese history went back so far. These lovely bronze wine vessels were made in the time of the Sumerians and Akkadians. Somehow that ancient period in China escaped the notice of the history books I read as a child. I was especially interested in a collection of ancient drums from about 1800 BC, and a set of bronze bells, whose recorded sounds were enchanting. Later I made my usual pilgrimage to see the calligraphy exhibit and the one for ancient Chinese art.

    We enjoyed strolling along the Bund and seeing it lit up in the evening from the observation deck on top of our hotel. An elegant supper allowed us to meet two new friends, Felicia and her husband T, who is the illustrator for the comic strip “Over the Hedge.” His work was made into a movie featuring Tom Cruise a few years ago. After dinner we went to a theater, where we were amazed by the performance by a Chinese acrobatic troupe. By the time we returned to our hotel we were ready for bed.
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