Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Morning Walk in Shanghai

After revisiting many of our favorite places in Europe, it's time to move to the other side of the world for a while and view some of our favorite places in Asia.  Right at the top of the list is Shanghai, initially for business trips, later for pleasure.  Shanghai is a city of about 25 million people that is constantly reinventing itself.  

Every time I return, there is something new and something old and familiar is gone.  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 been here. 

I walk in a big circle to the lower part of the Bund, near the elegant Nanpu Bridge, wandering 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.

As I walk through Shanghai, I dodge the scooters and bicycles on the streets and on the sidewalks.  It's a great way to get around, but parking does take up space and when a scooter comes down the sidewalk toward you, getting out of the way is the safest approach.

 Bicycle and scooter parking on the sidewalk

Propane delivery by scooter

Metro stations are everywhere, the Shanghai system [seemingly always under construction] will get me (and about 8-10 million other people) just about anywhere in the city.  The Shanghai Metro is the longest metro system in the world, with 14 lines and 337 stations.

Metro Station on Line 9

I wander down a side street along Lujiabang Road and find tranquility in the busy city.

 Quiet side street off Lujiabang Road

Getting to the end of Lujiabang Road, I approach the Nanpu Bridge and the Huangpu River.  In the park just before the bridge, people are at their morning activities, playing badminton, exercising, and just enjoying the day.

 Planting and sculpture in the park at the ramp to the Nanpu bridge

Playing badminton, with and without net, in the park near the Nanpu bridge

Walking up toward the Bund, along the Huangpu River bank, I look back at the Nanpu Bridge.  It is impressive, but too big to get in one picture.

Nanpu Bridge

All along the road are parks, tiny oases of calm scattered around the city.  In the morning people are walking, exercising and just meeting with friends.

Shanghai city parks

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 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

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 the garden, I see that the bushes have been sculpted into dolphins as with the addition of a few snails to keep them company.

Topiary in the garden near Waibaidu Bridge

Walking away from the Bund, I return to People's Square and head down Nanjing Road, the main shopping street in Shanghai, packed with world-famous high-end shops.  But, in addition to the shops, the street and neighborhoods have great sculptures and small gardens, randomly scattered along the way.  Walking from People’s Square to the Jing’an Temple at the corner of Nanjing Road and Changchu Road takes about 45 minutes, at 6:30 in the morning, before the crowds come out and pack the street.

Here are some of the sights I come across in my morning walk, random discoveries as along the way.  This is why I walk through cities!



Art on Nanjing Road


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