I've fallen in love with Shanghai. I don't know why, or what it is I like about the city, I just really enjoyed it. The first day and a half I was there we were still with the group. We went to a few markets, and wandered the bund, the strip along the river. The skyline of Shanghai is stunning. One of the buildings that we affectionately named the bottle opener, is the third tallest building in the world. The rest of the architecture is stunningly modern. We went to the top of one of the second tallest building in Shanghai at night, then went back down a few floors to a bar for our last night together as a group. Really, we were paying a mighty high price for the view. I'll admit that I am missing some of the people from the group. I really enjoyed the people I was teaching with!
After being in a 'small town' of 600 000 it was quite the change being in an international city. Also, with all the traveling I've done, I've never been to a big international city. Never been to London, or Tokyo, or Toronto. I really liked being in such a big city. It's fascinating to be in a city of 23 million. What surprised me was how safe I felt. There were many times that I (mom, don't read this) walked alone at night back to the hostel and felt 100% safe. Same on the metro too. In fact, I like to consider myself a bit of a Shanghai metro expert, except for the fact that every time I go back to east Nanjing rd station where my hostel was, I came out a different exit. I was usually momentarily lost on my way back, but with a little wandering could fix the problem!
One of the things we saw was the Communist propaganda poster museum. To find it, we had to wander behind an apartment complex, and into the basement of an apartment but it was well worth it. Fascinating to see the progression.
While we were in Shanghai there was always diving and water polo on tv. It turns out the FINA world championship were there. I chose to take one of my days to go see some diving. I saw women's 3m springboard prelims and semi finals and men's 3 m springboard finals. The venue was absolutely stunning! If you google 'oriental aquatic center' you can see the venue. Absolutely stunning! It was so nice to have a day to myself and not to have to talk to anyone. Traveling with a group that got get along with can result in lots of talking.