The easiest way to get from the international airport to town is on the
maglev train. Here are Evan and I, on the train going 430 km/h (267
Shanghai - can you say the word without thinking of the exotic and
mysterious? It's even a verb (I was shanghai'd!). Today, this city is
as modern and developed as any on the planet - Maglev trains,
skyscrapers, and all the accompanying traffic, smog and congestion.
It's outstanding. This is the viewing platform on the tallest of the
skyscrapers. Large blocks of the floor are glass, so you can look
straitght down at the street level far (far!) below.
This is the view from the tallest building. The previous tallest
building is in the foreground, and the Pearl TV Tower is in the
background, near the river.
This isi the same skyline from across the river; the two tallest buildings are obscured by clouds.
Another view of steel and glass - not that there's anything wrong with that.
Other interesting buildings include the performing arts centre...
And the Shanghai Museum.
Across the river from the modern downtown is the historical part of
Shanghai, called The Bund. The turn-of-the-century (that is the 19th to
20th century) European architecture is a nice complement to the ultra
modern buildings across the river.
Another historic part of town is the French Concession, a region that
used to be under the control of French expats. The area is in great
condition and hosts a lot of restaurants, bars and fancy shops.
A short subway ride from Shanghai is Qibao, a picturesque city of
canals and arched bridges. Alas, it is also a very well-known city of
bridges and canals, and when we were there it was PACKED with tourists
of all creeds and colors.
As a warm up for our visit to Tibet, we visited a temple in Shanghai. I
got this shot of some of Buddha's little minions hiding amongst the
And, around the corner is Buddha himself with the swirling mysteries of the cosmos above his radiant head.
We took the night train out of Shanghai for a two day adventure to
Lhasa, Tibet. This train crosses passes over 16,000 feet in altitude
and it equipped with oxygen for all passangers.
We chose to travel "first class" by booking a soft sleeper room. The
three of us had a roommate for the first night and through most of the
second, but then had the room to ourselves as we crossed the Tibetan
plateau. Evan, thank you for taking the top bunk.
Smoking is not allowed in rooms, but is allowed at the end of each car
so the atmosphere was not pleasant. We tried to combat this problem as
best we could. Though we couldn't do anything to preserve our health,
we tried to combat the bad smell by leaving pomelo rinds under Angela's
bunk. We called it "fragrant trash," a name we trademarked immediately.
The scenary out the windows are beautiful, a stark scrubbly slanted
table-top with snow capped mountains in the mid distance. We saw wild
asses, yaks, birds, antelope and prayer flags.
Here are some yaks (the guy in the white face is named Yakkity, thank you Evan) seen from the train.