Today I do not have big plans. Being Monday, most museums are closed and I have already visit many top touristic spots in the city. I have way more energy than my first day. So, all I want to do is walk around.
I go to The Bund early in the morning. The famous view of the city is spectacular. As I walk around the waterfront, some people stare at me. I guess that there is not many other western tourists and my heigh and beard pop up from the crowd. I am sure that one guy even took a picture with his phone. It feels strange to attract this kind of attention.
When I travel I use a 40 litres backpack that is cabin carry-on ready. It makes it easy to fly and to take trains. If I want to stop in a city and sleep in a different one, there is no problem in carrying the backpack around. It has proven practical in many of my trips.
This time it should be easier than other trips, but, I still like to keep my package light. So, I think twice before buying anything at the beginning of the trip that will have to carry for the rest of my vacations. As I will come back to Shanghai to take my return flight I will go to see what can shop when I’m back.
I go to the Old City, close to the Yu Garden. Here there are many tourists’ shops and markets. Being a touristic place, everything is going to be more expensive. But I want to see what it has to offer.
After visiting the shops for tourists, I get in the small alleys of the surrounding malls. I get marvelled by the diversity of shops. Space is shared in unfamiliar ways. Will-maintained shops with piled items are close by fancy stores with fancy expensive items. Most places have prices just for a few items, and I need to ask for the rest.
I have spent all morning looking for shops. I leave empty-handed, as planned. Now, I have a better idea of what can be shopped around for when I am back in the city.
Shanghai is a vibrant city in constant evolution. New shopping malls, office buildings, apartments, subway lines, are being constructed all the time. That is probably even more true for newer Chinese cities, thou. So, I pass by many streets that have ongoing construction work. Locals seem used to it, to some extent. Usually, there is no space on the sidewalk, so, I need to change sides, get into a building parking lot, or walk in the road to bypass the dug up streets and rubble. Each pedestrian needs to find its own way. Inconveniences a part, Shanghai is still evolving and yet it keeps many of its older buildings and charm.
I take Line 2 to cross the Huangpu River to visit Century Park.
As in many places, the ticket office for the park is a little farther away than expected. I guess that everything is prepared for larger crowds. Right now, there is no queue, and I get my ticket fast. Crow-less sites are a perk of off-season travelling.
Century Park extends over a large area creating a local ecosystem. Many birds fly around the greenery. The park acts as lungs for the city and is a visual break from Shanghai buildings. Even that I am getting tired after an all-day walking, I spend one hour wandering the park.
Browns, reds, yellows and greens mix in the forest. Each area of the park has a personality. There are places to walk around, to lay down, to sit with your loved one or to do a family picnic.
I leave the park and walking thru the long Century Avenue with The Bund visible in the skyline.