I try to explore a new area of Shanghai each trip and also revisit some of the areas I’ve enjoyed wandering through before just to see what has changed in the months since I’ve last visited. There is always something new.
I'm staying at the Shanghai Marriott City Centre near People's Square this trip, so I leave People's Square heading down the main shopping street, Nanjing Road, under the Chongqing Road Elevated Highway, and over to Ruijin Road. Following Ruijin Road south, I miss all the high-end shops and associated pedestrian traffic on Nanjing Road, and see, instead, the real city waking up and starting to go about the day. I stumble onto small parks, full of people exercising together in the morning, and find new artwork and statutes scattered around the city (I'll show a few of the sculpture and gardens in the next blog entry).
An hour into the walk, I reach Zhongshan Road and follow it east toward the elegant Nanpu Bridge. This takes me through areas where I am clearly the only foreigner and I get a few curious looks from people wondering why I’m marching through their neighborhood. But, mostly, they are rushing off to work themselves.
At the Nanpu Bridge, I turn left along the Huangpu River and walk up to the Bund. As I walk along the Bund, I get differing views of the Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in China. From all perspectives, it truly stands out.
Views of the Shanghai Tower from the Bund
Along the Bund, I also view the ship traffic passing through Shanghai. Vessels and barges of every type and full of everything imaginable flow past in a continuous stream on the river.
Barges on the Huangpu River
And, others come back the other way empty.
As I get to the top of the Bund and head over to my favorite Shanghai garden display, I see a wedding photographer (and, there are a lot of them taking pictures of the bride and groom on the Bund with backdrops of the famous sites) waiting for a lull in traffic on the Waibaidu Bridge. When the traffic pauses, the photographer gets in the street, the bride-to-be takes off her shoes, and the couple runs down the middle of the bridge, then they all jump onto the curb before they get flattened by the next bus. I had to take a picture of them taking a picture.
Taking the wedding picture
Crossing the street to my favorite garden, I see that the bushes are sculpted into dolphins as they were 3 months ago, but with the addition of a few snails to keep the dolphins company.
Walking away from the Bund on Beijing Road, I hear a loud rendition of the tune “Happy Birthday to You”, repeated over and over. In a few minutes, I find that it is the warning from a water truck that is coming by to wash the street and sidewalk. The locals know this means to stay away from the street or get your shoes wet!
Water truck washing the street and sidewalk
I avoid the spray, grab a sandwich at the Family Mart, and head back to the hotel to shower and head off to my meeting. It is hot and humid in Shanghai in July/August and the morning walk is a great way to start the day while there is still a slight breeze.