The quote: All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. (Martin Buber )
Spring in Shanghai, Gardens in Suzhou and Heat in Nanjing
My return to Shanghai 5 months after my first and gelid visit ment getting together with old friends and also the realisation that this city doas not change its place but it changes its landscapes, yet that the skiscrapers appear like mushrooms after rain, and where some months ago laid a neighbourhood and a square, the constructing machines have ocupied its place in crazzy racing towards the sky which seems very similar to the one of Babel tower.
Sunsetting in Shanghai
I hope they won't recive the same burden.
It also was the encounter with a presummerly climate which was changing completely the aspect of the city, yet that in January the temperature was round 0C degrees.
Shanghai may be very hotand wet in July and August, but June is the ideal mounth for taking a walk through the Bund and observate that market in which almost everything may be bought, sold or rent.
The commets which were rising towards the ski, with the positioning lights blinking through the dark night beside the river, were only one of the multiple entretainment options , together with a trip by boat on the river, a polaroid photograph, a martial art's sward, some Tai Chi classesand the electronic games most incredible, like some dinosaurs that were howling and sprading rays through their eyes.
The Jinmao tower and Aurora building
The terases were full of people and the priviliged enclaves like the terase on the 6th floor of Captain hostal, were like being in an IMAX cinema, with the biuldings on the other side of the river shining in their lights, especially the Pearl of the Orient, the tower of comunications, one of them, the Aurora building even converts all its surface into a great screen on which they transmit videos till 22h.
The principal commercial street was warming with people and the commercial offerts were very tentative.
Acrobacie on skates in the Westin
It stands clear that in summer people usually put away with the "defence guard" and they buy easily things they surely do not need much.
I renewed my lents for an year for 45 euros.
It also was the reencaunter with one of the Chinese Specialties about which I've mentioned in my diary in Jenuary, that of the Sunday brunch at Westin Hotel, which 5 months afterwards and with 10 kilos less of weight it seemed even better, to this contributed also the company and the privileged balcony at the first floorfrom where you could dominate the scene and the main eating-room.
The acrobatic section contained a pair of young girls on skates and a man doing incredible things with a huge ceramic bowl on his head.
Spiderman cleaning the cristal roof!
The menu and the prices were not changed and for 35 euros you had French champagne Veuve Clicquot unlimited and high cousine food.
I concentrated myself on seafruit which included spiny lobster, scayfish and ostryds, the sushi, the Japonesse tempura then risotto al parmeggiano, some Chinese plates, French cheese with Australian and Argentinian wine and in order to let it all go down some caviar with fruit vodka. Looks like a lot of food, but it was so good that I couldn't stop eating.
Even though I'm not that greedy I haven't stepped aside when the various fruit and chocolate cakes came.
One determined moment I thought I was drunk or halucinating because at some 20 meters beside us on the glassy ceiling there was a man cleaning it, dressed as Spiderman!
I could not believe it so I took a picture to confirm it when the etilical waves have passed. I wasn't wrong.
The next day I visited one of the places I left behind in January because of being winter, the gardens of Suzhou, Patrimonium of the Humanity at only 1 hour by rail from Shanghai.
There are various gardens dispersed through the city and the best way to visit them all in one day is renting a bike or the services of a ciclo-seat, that make you feel a poor version of the sensation the emperors and nobels had when enjoying this privileges. I prefer walking everywhere.
Suzhou is known with the name of "The Venice of the Orient" yet that it has rivers, chanals and bridges which together with the 200 gardens that existed during the dinasty of Ming and Qing were forming a lanscape of great beauty. The most important ones are still conserved.
SSuzhou.Garden of the Humble Administrator. Inside the area
The most famous are The Area of the Stormy Waves, The Forest of the Lion, the Garden of the Humble Administrator and the Garden of Demora, representative for the arquitectue of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dinasties.
El Jardín del Administrador Humilde es de una armonía y The Garden of the Humble Administrator is of incredible harmony and beauty, with lagunas, small bridges, areas and butiques well built.
Suzhou.Nature and geometry
The Chinese are also found by cages and tunells excaved inside the rocks.
The garden dedicated to the bonsais has some magnificent items.
A little further from Shanghai, at some 3 hours away there is Nanjing, am enormeus city of almost 6 million inhabitants, which is the bigges fortified city in the world, with 33 kilometers of rounding walls of which 2/3 are conserved.
Nanjing. bridge and boats
It was the capital of the country during 10 dinasties.
Known as Jinling in the ancient times, it is the capital of the Jiangsu province, and through it passes the Yangtze river after thousands kilometers since its birth in Himalaya.
It can be very hot and wet, which happened during the days I spent there, always lloking for some shadow and drinking unmeasurable quantities of water.
Beside the city wall the most famous monument in Nanjing is the mausoleum Sun_Yat-sen, considered the Father of the Chinese Revolution.
It was built between 1926 and 1929 and since then it is a peregrination place for the Chinese people, whom in this case will not find a mommy but the marme statue of Sun Yat-sen in a boud position, under which lies his tumb.
Click here to see the pictures from Shanghai, Suzhou, and Nanjing.
Check Wikipiedia if you want to know more about Shanghai, Nanjing, and Suzhou.
If you want to make a comment about this diary, you can send it privately to Carlos or make it public as followes on the diary or on the forums.
See you soon !!
From La Coruna, Spain, 11st of July, 2005
Translated by Flavia Sorlea (firstname.lastname@example.org) on November 18th, 2005
Published: 03/01/2008 00:00
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