Day 16 in Shanghai and it is my last! Tomorrow morning I will be flying out at 9:20am. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, but as with all trips away from home, I am excited to be back home. Home to my husband and cats. Home to my own bed and pillow. Home is where my heart is.
I have so many things I'd like to share about my trip and I hope to have a bit of time once I get home to be able to write them. I also have hundreds of pictures to sort through and choose the bestest to share. ;) But until then, I'll share a bit about my last day in Shanghai (sans pictures, because I have already packed my camera cord and I am not going to dig through my strategically packed suitcase. *big grin*).
After breakfast, I headed out to Longhua Temple and Longhua Martyrs Cemetery area. I found the Longhua Martyrs Cemetery first and wandered around it for a couple of hours. There are memorial statues everywhere. Huge bronze statues, rock/concrete statues, rocks with Chinese writing on them (in several styles and colors), some fountains, flowers, trees, bamboo and a lot of green grass. This area was peaceful and as quiet as I have found in Shanghai. I really enjoyed just walking through the area leisurely, taking pictures as it pleased me and letting my ears rest.
Eventually I found myself at the entrance of the cemetery area and walked to the nearby Longhua Temple. Longhua temple is a Buddhist temple that is said to have been originally built in 242 AD, but was ruined in war and rebuilt in 977 AD. The other surrounding buildings have been rebuilt more recently and are only about 100-125 years old. The temple costs 10 yuan (1,15€) to get in. Many people go there to leave their prayers with the deities. And a stinky affair it is! LOL. Most people buy incense, say a prayer to the four corners, light the incense (before or after the prayer, I don't know) and leave it there, as the belief is it will let the gods find their way to you.
I didn't spend too much time at the temple, as it was crowded, full of incense and didn't really hold much for me other than nice looking buildings and Buddha-statues. My tour-guide book mentioned a shopping area around the corner, so I figured I'd try to find it. I think I found it, but it was just like every other place I've seen (I'm not sure why I thought it would be different), plus because of today being Mid-Autumn holiday, not all the places were open. I debated whether to get a taxi right then and head home, but I figured I would continue to walk and eventually find a metro station to get me back to the hotel. If I got lost or tired of walking, I could always take a taxi home. I walked and walked, found a dead end (but my map said differently!), retraced my steps and walked some more. I was definitely in a part of town that doesn't see many (any?) foreigners walking along their streets. By the time I finally got back to some big streets, I was extremely sweaty and my feet were killing me. I found a nearby metro and took it the one stop to get me back to my known territory.
The quick metro ride was enough to restore me a bit. I know myself well enough, that once I got back to my hotel this afternoon, there was no way I was going to head back out into the heat to find food or go to the store for last minute candy and tea shopping. So, I went to the store, returned the metro card I was borrowing up to work and then found myself some food. I purposefully ordered too much food so I could take half of it back with me to the hotel. Even though I ordered 4 appetizers and a drink, it only cost me 82 yuan. That is the equivalent of 9,50€! (I am so going to miss the cheap and yummy food here!) Then it was to the hotel for me.
Once back at the hotel, I got out of my stinky and sweaty clothes to take a shower. As I was in the shower, a hotel staff lady rang the door bell, but I didn't get out of the shower (with clear glass walls) to answer it, so she came in, saw me in the shower and explained that she had a Mooncake (or check this mooncake link) for me in celebration of the Mid-Autumn holiday. I told her thanks and that it was ok that she disturbed me and then she left. After the shower, I finished packing. (I think I'm going to barely squeak by the 23kg limit.) And now, for the rest of the evening, I'm just hanging out, munching on some snacks and waiting to go to bed (at a hopefully decent hour).
I now have 10 hours until I hope on my plane to head home.