28.10.2011 - 28.10.2011
Our last day in China! Those 14 days have flown by so very quickly! It seemed only a few days ago that we were on our way towards the airport.
Because we haven't got plans today, there is also no alarm clock that could wake us. I am just the happiest girl alive! The streetworkers outside the hotel do their best to wake me, but I refuse to open my eyes and enjoy this blissful moment.
My brother on the other hand had to wake up very early. Today, he was going to the cemetery with his fiancee Mingzhu and her father. Mingzhu's mother passed away when she was only a little girl and it is a tradition of her to go and visit her mother's grave whenever she comes back to Shanghai. This time my brother was going to join her.
That's why Tania and I decided to go souvenir shopping today. First we headed towards People's Square and tried to look for the Hard Rock Cafe. My brother asked us to buy a t-shirt if we could find it. Last night I saw the address and it looked to be near People's Square on West Nangjing road, so we were in the right direction. Our search for the Hard Rock Cafe could begin! And what a search it was. We walked several times back and forth on the West Nanjing road, but no sign of the Hard Rock Cafe. What the heck was going on here!? The best thing we could do is ask for directions, but noone seems to know where it was. They had never heard of it. How on earth is this possible? We kept on thinking that maybe the cafe was closed, but a brand like that!? Come on, this can't be right!?
After an hour we gave up our search and went on our way to the French Concession, this we DID find, thinks to the wonderful "map reading" skills of Tania.
This neighbourhood was just great. It felt like we were already back home! It was really cozy and you could buy lots of nice things in the small shops ... even the prices were the same like in Europe! Because it was so expensive, we gave it a miss ... but the food, we just couldn't ignore it and we ended up at a German restaurant which of course sold all the specialities of the country. Although it all seemed really yummy, I just ordered a sandwich.
From here we walked all the way to the fortified wall. It's not that there is lots of wall left like in Beijing, it is just a small part and it also has a temple inside. It wasn't too expensive to visit, so we gave it a try. Not the most exciting tourist attraction I must say, but you definetely had another view on the city. It also has a small exhibition area which explains everything about the wall and why it was placed. Most of it is in Chinese so it was impossible to understand and therefore we gave it a miss.
This district of Shanghai is so much different than the one at the Bund, it's a complete different Shanghai if you ask me. Here you see lots of construction works and it seems that "the government" is replacing all the nice Hutongs from the old days with just plain skyscrapers, maybe that's the price Chinese people have to pay for overpopulation.
We walked all the way through the street works and ended up at one of the many Chinese "residential" areas. The first thing you noticed was the poverty of some streets, not to mention the people who live in these streets, so you can't exactly call this residential, can't you!?
Anyway, from here we noticed that we were at the back of the Old town and the Yu garden, so we went for one last quick look at this place and didn't forget to buy some great souvenirs.
From all this shopping and walking we got a little thirsty, so we decided to have a drink at the food stalls at the entrance of the Gucheng park. Although it was getting dark soon, we walked towards the Bund. After all, we couldn't say goodbye without seeing the lights for the very last time.
Suddenly I got a call from my brother, they were back in Shanghai and he asked us to come to Mingzhu's apartment in Hongkou. This was a great idea, because we wanted to say goodbye to Mingzhu's dad as well. We agreed to meet them about 7.30 pm, so we had enough time to enjoy our walk on the Bund and in the meantime have something to eat.
We ended up at a small restaurant close to the Bund. The entire restaurant was decorated with spiders and witches and it surprised me that even here in China the concept of Halloween was no longer a secret. Only one other table was occupied, but we were both so hungry we didn't care so much about it. For starters we ordered a creamy pumpkin soup and our main course was a spaghetti bolognese with lots and lots of garlic. First we got the soup (which isn't always the obvious here in these parts) and not very soon after, our pasta arrived as well. I guess the staff noticed that we were very hungry, because they gave us a dessert for free, a few pieces of watermelon.
After dinner we went back to the Bund to take our last pictures and went on our way towards the hotel. We crossed Nanjing road, which was still filled with people at this time of the day, and within 15 minutes we were back at our hotel. We left our souvenirs and the rest of our belongings at our room and headed towards Mingzhu and her father.
At the evening market we bought some delicious round "cakes" we discovered the night before as a thank you for Mingzhu's father. Just to be on the save sight we bought two bags and it turned out it wasn't a loss because we all liked them very much, even the aunts and cousin of Mingzhu who came by to say goodbye.
Because we still had lots of packing to do, we said goodbye to Mingzhu's dad and relatives. My brother had already packed his bag so he stayed. The two of us went back to the hotel and began the dreadful task of packing our bags. It was almost midnight when we were finished and completly tired of this exciting day.
The only thing left for us to do is crawl into our beds and sleep because tomorrow we had a very, very long flight back home. So after saying goodnight to eachother, my eyes closed and the only thing on my mind at this moment was: goodbye Shanghai, it was nice being here, but sadly enough we have to go, until next time!