Sunday, May 3: Last night, I accidentally set the alarm for 6:30 p.m., so this morning I slept a little later than I intended to. 🙂 I make some coffee in my room, catch up on Instagram and then soak in a long steamy bath. I go out without having breakfast in the hotel, and that seems to work to alleviate some of the stomach troubles I’ve been plagued with all weekend.
I get on metro at 9 a.m. and go straight to the Lujiazui stop in Pudong. I head directly to Riverside Avenue, bypassing the long queues waiting to go to the top of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower. I have no interest in standing in those queues as it’s a dark and cloudy morning and the view from the top wouldn’t be anything special.
To be honest, the view from the riverside isn’t great either. When I was at the Bund on Friday, I was frustrated that the sun was to the west, foiling my attempts to get decent pictures of the old colonial buildings lining the Huangpu River. Thus I determined that this morning I would head directly to Pudong, so when I looked across the river to the west, the sun would be behind me. However, it’s so cloudy and grey, that the views are not good. No matter. They do give you an idea of how different the west side of the river is from the east. The Bund is old, classic and a little stodgy, while Pudong is glittering, colorful and modern. I find it fascinating that the two sides of the river are so different.
Of course, since I’m on the Pudong side, I have to take some pictures of the modern side too, especially the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the Shanghai International Convention Center.
The word ‘bund’ derives from an Anglo-Indian word for an embankment along a muddy waterfront. That was what the Bund was originally (China Highlights: The Bund of Shanghai).
According to Wikipedia, the Shanghai Bund boasts dozens of historical buildings along the Huangpu River that once housed numerous banks and trading houses from the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Italy, Germany, Russia, Japan, the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as the Russian and British consulates, a newspaper, the Shanghai Club and the Masonic Club. The Bund lies north of the old, walled city of Shanghai. It was initially a British settlement; later the British and American settlements were combined in the International Settlement. Magnificent commercial buildings in the Beaux Arts style sprung up in the years around the turn of the 20th century as the Bund developed into a major financial center of East Asia. (Wikipedia: The Bund)
As I walk along the Pudong waterfront, a small flotilla of official-looking boats comes down the river blaring trumpets and other loud instruments, much like a marching band in a parade. I guess they’re celebrating International Workers’ Day, which was Friday. This is, after all, the holiday weekend.
I guess I’m just not meant to get any great pictures of the Bund this weekend. 😦
After my riverside walk, I make my way to the metro. My next destination is Yuyuan Garden.