• Day11

    Yellow Mountains.... Shanghai dumplings

    December 5, 2017 in Hong Kong ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    On Friday we travelled by fast train to Huangshan -which literally means yellow mountain. Located in Eastern China, Huangshan is a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literature, as well as modern photography. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of China's major tourist destinations.
    There is a “ scenic area “ ( think National Park) which hosts most of the tourists in a rather grubby town near the entrance . We stayed in a cheap but cheerful hotel run by a young couple very keen to practice their English and attract western customers. They were typical of all the Chinese people, sincere, warm and very helpful. We even got a “Western style breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast although the concept of jam was a bit confusing for them.
    The Saturday morning bus ride half way up the mountain was the first test of our nerves. We weaved and swerved up a very steep mountain road. Finally we arrived at the gondola station and did the, by now, routine gauntlet of ticket purchases, then security checks then line ups. We were amply rewarded at the top of the gondola ride when we popped through the heavy rain and clouds and enjoyed spectacular views in every direction. After lots of photos, we started what turned out to be 6 tough hours of walking up, down, then up then down, etc a total of nearly 30,000, steps that day said the lovely Maria. Turns out the gondola that was supposed to take us down the hill after 4 hours of hiking was broken and we ended up hiking an extra 2 hours down hill. Tough on the body!The trails were crowded and the toilets very basic. We did stop mid-way for a veeery expensive lunch(everything is hauled up the mountain so you can understand why the prices. ). Our bodies are still feeling the effects of our hiking but it was an experience. Our quads are still screaming at us.
    Yesterday was Sunday and we, again rode the speedy bullet trains - this time to Shanghai our final China stop. Have to say of all the places we have been in China, Shanghai is my favorite. Most likely due to the fact that coffee is readily a available and there is wine for sale in most stores - I know, call me shallow. The feel here is much more international and Westerners feels relatively more at comfortable.
    We are safely ensconced in a hotel near the former French Concession area. Lots of things to see near by. Today we wandered around and hit our favorite dumpling shop for lunch. The Shanghai dumplings contain broth and meat. Then they are steamed and fried. Mmmm m delicious and cheap. We visited a fascinating little museum devoted to preserving Chinese propaganda posters . The posters really reveal the history of China from the Second World War. Very few of the posters survived for various reasons and they are quite interesting.
    Tonight we went on a night cruise on the Huangpu River which cuts through Shanghai. We were treated to a spectacular view of the many magnificent and architecturally diverse buildings in this world class city. Jonathan tells us that Shanghai is actually, at 25 million people, likely the largest metropolis in the world. It is a vibrant, international city with every brand of store, hotel, business you could imagine. Prices are accordingly high. A bit of a shock after our experiences in the rest of China.
    It goes without saying that we’ve really enjoyed our time with Jon and Maria these past 2 weeks. Unfortunately we lost our translator and excellent travel guide Maria yesterday as she had to return to work in Beijing. Jon has patiently stuck with us and will continue to guide us until we are safely in the arms of Air Canada on Wednesday afternoon.

    That’s about all for now.
    Love Heather xx
    Happy Birthday Lindsay xx
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