March 13, 2007 SHANGHAI
Slept the night and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the hotel before meeting with Hanna for our morning tour at 9 am. The weather is cold and overcast but no rain. Our first stop is the Yu Garden. A Garden in
The Yu Gardens was built by the Pan family in 1557 and consists of three main sections: traditional Chinese teahouses, sparkling goldfish ponds and beautifully manicured pavilions. Afterwards we had half an hour to shop before boarding the bus for a trip to a “village” within the city where we visited a community center for senior citizens. They had paintings and carvings made by the seniors and their teachers for sale; we purchased a small jade dragon for our china hutch. Then we drove by bus to join a private family in their home for a traditional Chinese meal. The food was all freshly prepared by the wife in her tiny kitchen; there were seventeen different dishes. Seemed like way to much food for the five of us; three of our group had plane problems and won’t arrive until tomorrow. But, we all ate more than we should have even with struggling to use our chopsticks. Some gave up and resorted to the forks that were also provided. Private condos are very common for homes and they are generally about a thousand square feet divided into two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen and a small sitting room.
After lunch we were off to the financial district: The Bund. It is located near our hotel and runs along the western bank of the river. Old hotels and private homes have been restored and converted to banks in this area. One very old hotel remains operational and is called the Peace Hotel and was built by an Opium Dealer. Prior to 1990’s the eastern bank of the river was farmlands but has become the “new”
Arrived back at the hotel by 3 pm and Jim walked over to the