In addition to all the great shopping, food, and city attractions Shanghai has to offer, the city is home to dozens of museums, temples and historical sites. One such site is the Qibao Ancient Water Town. This little town has been around since sometime around 1000 a.d. and is only about ten miles out of the downtown area. We took the subway there one morning for a day of exploring. What gives the area it’s charm is the fact that it is built along the confluence of multiple waterways that intersect with the city streets. While exploring, I lost count of all the picture perfect bridges we crossed that connect the various areas of town. Each street was like something from a China travel guide and there was just no end to the little shops, restaurants, street food and photo opportunities available.
We spent one very fast week in Shanghai, and despite extensive use of the subway and walking eight to ten miles a day, were only able to experience a tiny fraction of the city. Shanghai is an intense mixture of ancient culture and tradition, modern city-ness, western-esque consumerism and 12 million people – of whom all that we interacted with – were really really nice!
There are times when, for reasons I can’t explain, the normal continuity of space and time appears to break down and the events of, say a month ago, feel like a year or a lifetime ago. It was just one month ago Amber and I were headed out of Maine. It was still just barely spring there and our lives were, for the most part, all about familiar things like car travel, and visiting friends and family. Today, however, I am writing from our hostel in Shanghai, China! The contrasts in weather, people, food, sounds, and smells are so extreme that even the last day in Wenatchee sitting on my dad’s back porch with family only a week ago feels like it could have been years in the past.