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Live Blog: Millennium 30 March 2019 - Shanghai to Tokyo

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Hello everyone. This is my first live blog, and I make this post recognising that I am standing on the shoulders of some of the giants of live blogging on Cruise Critic! Hopefully I will be able to meet their standards and post regularly with tons of useful information. I wanted to do this live blog in appreciation of everyone else on Cruise Critic who provided SO much information about the 'revolutionised'' Millennium which we board this Friday for the 14 day China, South Korea and Japan cruise. 
 
We are my husband Alan and me (Maree) and my two sisters and their husbands: Jenny and Alan, and Elizabeth and Tom. We are all in our late 50s and 60s. I run my own consulting business so have some flexibility with scheduling a cruise, but Jenny and Elizabeth both work in schools, so our family cruises have to be scheduled around school holidays - and this cruise was perfect timing and length (14 days). Alan and I have been to Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo before, and Alan has been to Seoul and JeJu Island as well. Kate, our daughter, went to Japan a couple of years ago, so I've used her brain too in our trip planning. Everyone else has never been to these parts of Asia. 
 
We started to do family cruises when we realised we were 'orphans' after our mother died in 2015, and that those family holidays with our parents would be no more. We decided to cruise every few years to give us a way to add to our online contact and occasional get togethers in Australia - we live at opposite ends of the country, so getting together is usually organised around an event, birthday or similar, and the availability of cheap airfares! This is our second cruise together; our first was a South Pacific cruise on the Solstice in 2016. It was the first ocean cruise for Jenny and Elizabeth while this cruise on Millennium will be our twelfth with Celebrity.
 
I have my own travel blog - Travelling & Cruising - and I'll be posting there too, that in turn, will post automatically to my Facebook Travelling & Cruising page - so that takes care of the sharing side of things! I will, of course, aim to answer your questions, but I must warn you now that Alan and I aren't night owls and usually wind down after the nightly show - so I'll have to task Jenny and Elizabeth with finding out required information about evening entertainment and activities. They stay up late - I get up early. 
 
So, a bit about what we have planned so far.
 
We booked this cruise in mid-2017 after the success of the South Pacific cruise and started planning seriously mid-2018. We had originally booked veranda staterooms on Deck 7 but because I am a bit obsessive about checking the Celebrity website for price changes, I discovered one day not too long ago that the price of Aqua Class cabins were now $44 less than what we had paid for our veranda staterooms. And even better, three cabins in next to each other (9102, 9014, 9106)! Joy! We can dine in Blu again! I was soooo very excited. We had been in Aqua Class on two earlier cruises and loved Blu. I changed our cabins and - oops - only then did I check the cabin list on Cruise Critic to discover that - of course - there is a reason for such luck so close to sailing. These three cabins are underneath toilets and the OceanView Cafe on Deck 10 so we n t expect some noise. But honestly, I'm not even sure that knowing that beforehand would have stopped me from booking them - I really, really, really wanted to eat in Blu again!
 
We have arranged to meet in Sydney on 27 March - we live in Melbourne, Jenny lives in southern Queensland and Elizabeth in North Queensland - meaning a long way apart from each other. The next day we fly to Shanghai where we embark. We are staying at Rydges Hotel at the Sydney International Airport, literally steps away from the terminal. We fly Qantas leaving at 10.55am in the morning and arriving in Shanghai about 6.30pm that same night. It's only a two hour time difference - less than the three hour difference between Melbourne and Perth in Australia - so we should, for once, not have to put up with jet lag after a long haul flight. 
 
We have a private transfer booked for the airport and are staying at the Fairmont Peace Hotel. Jenny's travel agent booked all the transfers and accomodation and I smiled when I saw the Peace Hotel on the itinerary because Alan and I had stayed there in 1984 on our very first overseas trip. It was a bit of a Shanghai landmark then so I'm keen to see whether renovations have changed its character - I hope not. We have planned a four hour walking tour the next day, following by a three hour river cruise and dinner in the evening.
 
Since my time is my flexible and I'm not really a just in time planner, I ended up - with everyone's agreement - taking the lead on organising tours. I would have done this if we were sailing by ourselves and quite like doing it, so I was happy to find what looked like good tours and send details through to Jenny and Elizabeth and we collectively decided what to do. Here's what we are doing:
 
  • a ship tour in Seoul (Art of Seoul); 
  • a two day overnight tour of Bejing, and a rest day on the ship for our third day docked at Beijing;
  • a five hour tour of JeJu Island main sights, 
  • Day 1 in Kobe, I've booked a Shinkasen (bullet) train ride to Kyoto where we meet our guide at the station for a half day tour - the train ride will be short but it was on our list of 'must dos';
  • Day 2 in Kobe we have a full day walk tour;
  • in Shimizu (Mt Fuji) we have nothing planned and will decide once we are on the cruise;
  • the final stop is Yokohama where again we have nothing planned, but I am a bit of a Disney fan so I suggested Tokyo Disneyland but the others aren't convinced;
  • we have three days in Tokyo post-cruise and again, nothing planned, although I have a list of possible places and things to do!
 
There is more info about planning and the tour companies I have used here. There have been quite a few posts and photos now on Cruise Critic about the new Millennium but if you have any specific questions, let me know them now, and I'll aim to answer them as soon as I can. We fly to Sydney this afternoon, and I'm doing the happy dance because our points upgrade to Business class has come through 🙂
Edited by mazza

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Thanks for taking the time to blog your wonderful cruise.   I'm following and am enjoying your post.

 

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Look forward to reading about your experiences...especially any great tours/tour companies! Thank you fir spending part of your holiday time taking us on your journey.

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I can’t wait to “be along” for your journey!  As you disembark I will be embarking on the April 13 sailing!  I do agree with you: one cannot go to Tokyo without going to Tokyo Disney Sea and Disney Resort.  That is what we are doing post cruise! 

Bon Voyage!

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I’m really looking forward to hearing about your trip. We were meant to be getting off Milly on Saturday, (was booked to go China, South Korea and Taiwan) but due to ill health, on Dr’s advice we had to cancel,, the day before we were to travel. We Did Millenium last year Vietnam and Thailand was a lovely ship and we were looking forward to seeing upgrades and the ports, so I look forward to reading your blog.Enjoy, I am sure you will live it!

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3 hours ago, Cruiser about said:

I’m really looking forward to hearing about your trip. We were meant to be getting off Milly on Saturday, (was booked to go China, South Korea and Taiwan) but due to ill health, on Dr’s advice we had to cancel,, the day before we were to travel. We Did Millenium last year Vietnam and Thailand was a lovely ship and we were looking forward to seeing upgrades and the ports, so I look forward to reading your blog.Enjoy, I am sure you will live it!

I hope you are well now, and never have to cancel a cruise that close to sailing again. I can't imagine what that must have been like. We sailed on the Millennium in 2008 so it will be quite a different ship this time around I am sure.

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4 hours ago, Rina155 said:

I can’t wait to “be along” for your journey!  As you disembark I will be embarking on the April 13 sailing!  I do agree with you: one cannot go to Tokyo without going to Tokyo Disney Sea and Disney Resort.  That is what we are doing post cruise! 

Bon Voyage!

I just have to convince five other people to trust me that they will have a good time at Disney, but I'm trying my best. We can wave to each other on 13 April :)

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4 hours ago, Bfb832cc said:

Look forward to reading about your experiences...especially any great tours/tour companies! Thank you fir spending part of your holiday time taking us on your journey.

I will for sure be reporting on the tours and our experience of the companies. Stay tuned.

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We’ll be following this closely as we’re booked on the Millie for four legs (  9/4-10/29) 

Thanks for sharing your trip with us. 

Harry

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Day 1: Melbourne to Sydney

We caught an Uber to the airport, not much traffic so 20 minutes later we were pulling up outside the Qantas terminal. We had managed to coincide with the start of the business people crowd heading out of Melbourne, so the airport was busy.  We went to the bag drop area to check in our bags, only to find the baggage system had stopped. Staff had already rung the engineering area to fix it, and it took about 10 minutes before it started again which is good because the last time this happened some years ago, it lasted for a few hours. Then through the security checkpoint where I stacked up all the plastic tubs that at least 10 people in front of me had left on the conveyer belt, blocking other tubs from coming out, and walked away. I get annoyed at things like that. Next stop was the Qantas Lounge which had just been redesigned and refurbished, and I said to Alan as we walked in that the new furniture looked remarkably like that on the Millennium, although here there was more colour - blue chairs for example. Interesting though that similar styles have just been introduced here - I should have taken a photo!! 

 

We only had about 30 minutes here, so had a cup of tea (for me) and coffee (for Alan) and some cake before heading to the gate for our short flight to Sydney (1 hour 30 minutes). I had a good mini-meal - chilli chicken and rice - and Alan had a cheese platter. I should have taken photos here too - I will do better! :) We landed on time, our bags came out quickly and we headed outside to find the TBus, a free bus that provides a transfer from the Domestic to the International Terminal where we are leaving from tomorrow. While we waited I sent a message to Jenny and Elizabeth to say we had landed since they flew in from Brisbane about 40 minutes earlier since I assumed they were at th hotel by now. I looked to the left a few minutes later and they were approaching the stop - their flight had been delayed.

 

We waited another 10 minutes until a bus came, and 10 minutes later we were on the other side of the airport and at Rydges Hotel. I am a member of the Rydges loyalty scheme and we got an upgraded room - from Queen to King which was nice - it’s a reasonable sized room, with an interesting arrangement with the bathroom sink, toilet and shower alll in separate areas, and the sink being open to the rest of the room. It’s a comfortable room and perfectly fine for an overnight stay. The airport has an overnight curfew starting at 11pm, so there should be no problem sleeping.

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View from our hotel room of the airport and Sydney CBD in the background.

 

We met up after dropping off our luggage and went to the rather small roof top bar for a pre-dinner drink where we had our first photo together of the trip taken by the waiter there.

 

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From left to right: Tom, Elizabeth, Jenny, my Alan (AC), me and Jenny’s Alan (AL).

 

We went down to the hotel restaurant to see if we could have dinner but they were busy and on their advice we made a booking for 30 minutes later when they would have a table. We set off for the downstairs pub-style bar to wait and kept catching up. The restaurant was quite large and really busy - but I guess they have a captive audience being the only hotel at the International Terminal and some way from the city. Hotel restaurants are always hit and miss but here the food was very good and we spent some time here continuing to catch up.

 

We agreed to meet the next morning and have breakfast at the airport. AC is taking AL to the First Class Lounge for breakfast since he is a Platinum frequent flyer but can only take one guest. The rest of us will find somewhere to eat and meet them at the gate. It’s getting late now by my standards,  so it’s time for some sleep before we head for Shanghai tomorrow.

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Thank you so much for reporting your trip for us!  We are on a similar itinerary in Oct/Nov.  Can't wait to pick up some great tips from your group!!

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Looking forward to hearing about the revolution. I would love your opinion on the mattresses. I had posted on the revolution thread and got iffy answers. We have never had an issue on Celebrity with mattresses but on Royal my parents lug a topper to make it bearable, even after the revolution. I would love not to lug a topper to Alaska this summer so looking forward to an opinion! 

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I am very excited to a live review. Will be doing the TP April 27. I did my first live review in November on the Eclipse. 

I did hit some unexpected snags.  Not sure what I was doing wrong but pictures took forever to load. I finally gave up on posting the dailys. I did my 2nd live on the Equinox in Feb 7 night Caribbean, pictures loaded much faster.

Looking forward to ship pictures and ports.

Norma

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4 hours ago, musik07 said:

Looking forward to hearing about the revolution. I would love your opinion on the mattresses. I had posted on the revolution thread and got iffy answers. We have never had an issue on Celebrity with mattresses but on Royal my parents lug a topper to make it bearable, even after the revolution. I would love not to lug a topper to Alaska this summer so looking forward to an opinion! 

 

I've mentioned before that the new Cashmere mattresses are very firm and we needed some sort of "topper" when we were on the Edge.  I phones Captain's Club today and asked if they still had a mattress topper.  He advised that they no longer carry the "egg crate" type toppers for sanitary reasons.  But they do have a "quilt" that they can put on to make it a little bit better.  It was a bit better when we had one on the Edge.  I hope we can get 2 quilts when we go on the Millie in May.  :classic_unsure:

 

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Hello Maree, hope we get to meet you on the cruise! (FYI, we are boarding Saturday, not Friday, lol! You must really have priority boarding!)

We just arrived in Shanghai after a fantastic tour in Xian.

We are spending three days post cruise at Disney Sea, having snagged two nights at Miracosta - so excited! 

Looking forward to following along here as we sail together on the Millie!

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7 hours ago, sippican said:

Hello Maree, hope we get to meet you on the cruise! (FYI, we are boarding Saturday, not Friday, lol! You must really have priority boarding!)

Ha! Yes of course, I keep forgetting we have this day in Shanghai before boarding. Your trip sounds great. See you on Saturday :)

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13 hours ago, musik07 said:

Looking forward to hearing about the revolution. I would love your opinion on the mattresses.

Sure thing. I don't like firm mattresses (after having one for a few years that gave me hip pain) so I hope the ones onboard are okay.

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15 hours ago, sippican said:

Hello Maree, hope we get to meet you on the cruise! (FYI, we are boarding Saturday, not Friday, lol! You must really have priority boarding!)

We just arrived in Shanghai after a fantastic tour in Xian.

We are spending three days post cruise at Disney Sea, having snagged two nights at Miracosta - so excited! 

Looking forward to following along here as we sail together on the Millie!

sippican,

i don't want to hijack the OP's original post, but we are signed up for this cruise next March and would like to make it up to Xi'an pre-cruise. Would you mind telling me about your experience doing that? You can email me at wbeesley at aol dot com.

thanks,

Beverly

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thanks for posting this - we will be on Millennium March 2021 Hong Kong to Tokyo, so will follow this with interest 

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Day 2: Sydney to Shanghai

I tried to post this last night but it was late and I got too tired. So here are yesterday’s events. 

 

Sydney Airport has a curfew from 11pm to 6am so I had a pretty good sleep, awaking at my usually time of 5.30am, but I refused to get up then, eventually surfacing at about 7.30am. I read email, replacked everything, had a cup of tea and a biscuit from the minibar to keep me going until breakfast, followed by a shower and we were ready to meet everyone else. 

 

A very quick walk to the terminal where after showing Elizabeth how to use the check in kiosks to scan your passport, Alan and I headed to the First Class check in area. At the end I mentioned that we were travelling with my sisters and she said that everyone in the group could check in at First Class so we'll remember that for the return trip. The person checking us in then gave us six express passes for security and immigration which was nice, but there was still a queue to be faced.

 

Tom was the last once coming through immigration and the passport gates, and he was apparently stopped for a random check. Of course, Elizabeth was had his boarding pass which he needed, so it was a little tense till it was sorted out. A bit unnerving as was being stopped after a body scan for a pat down, but it turned out to be my belt, which the first security guard told me to leave on when I asked him if I should take if off. Ah well. Eventually, we are all through and safe. 🙂 AC and AL head off to the First Class Lounge for breakfast and we walk to the food court and stop at the first restaurant that has a big BREAKFAST sign at the front of it.

 

We paid for our expensive airport food and then had a bathroom visit to clean teeth etc. Tom wanted to take a look at duty free so we stopped there for a few minutes and then both Jenny and I got messages telling us that AC and AL were at the gate and waiting for us. Off we went and met up. Here we had to part ways, as we joined the Business boarding queue and they headed for Economy. The queue was actually stationary as boarding hadn't started so we stood for about 15 minutes until it opened.

 

DDF29C30-F8AD-4854-B6CD-EF8460CFF99F.thumb.jpeg.94210f560d0eb3a4c80ff6bf7f16b352.jpegWaiting, waiting to board the plane

 

We were soon set up in our just delightful Business Class seats. Everyone passed us on their way to the seats and we joked about visiting each other at some stage during the flight.

 

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On board!

 

Lunch orders were then taken and my pre-ordered Economy chicken meal was still there. It became clear very quickly that chicken was the most popular meal and that they wanted me to keep my Economy meal - which on the one hand, I shouldn't have to do, but on the other hand, I didn't really care as long as I get fed. Food on Qantas generally is pretty good. And while the flight attendant also wanted to keep one chicken for the remaining passengers she had to serve, I figured that doing your flight attendants a favour at the beginning of a flight is not a bad thing to do!

 

It turned out that I didn't have to have my economy meal, and the trip was uneventful. We left late and arrived early, but it was raining in Shanghai and we were parked on the tarmac so had to walk down stairs and then across the tarmac to the bus. The flight attendant said that it happens often, because Chinese airlines get priority for the gates. We are in the first bus but everyone else were well behind us. 

 

The process is first to go to the Advance fingerprint machines where your fingerprints are taken - all automated, and you get a slip with OK written on it. Then we head to the immigration counters and stand in a queue for a while, but as queues go, ours moved relatively quickly. You have to rescan some of your fingerprints to match up with the original scan, and they appear to take a photo as well - the people here are dressed in impeccable uniforms, all very official or all well groomed. Then it's on to baggage claim which is the same as everywhere else. There are directional signs in English and it's easy enough to follow the process through.

 

We collected everyone's bags and waited for them to arrive, then went outside and found our driver. He didn't speak English and there was a mix up with the hotel they had on their booking, so Jenny had to have a talk to someone on the phone to sort it out. Then to the parking area - we have a small van and our luggage fits perfectly. We are off then on the hour drive into the city - mostly on freeway, and only one little patch of traffic - it was 8pm by this time and I'm not sure I'd like to be driving this road in peak hour. Some of the buildings are quite stunning at night so look forward to seeing them in the daylight.

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When we turned on the the Bund, I knew we were close to our hotel, and a few minutes later we at the Peace Hotel, complete with the same front door that was there in 1984. AL is taken with the uniform of the door man that required a photo, and then we had to work out how paying for breakfast suddenly turned into a package including happy hour drinks and a few other things. In the end we figured it was okay, and we are off to our rooms. Now, it took a little time to find our rooms because this is not a building with a one long corridor, or a couple of wings on each floor - there are at least two buildings connected, so you walk down one corridor, around a corner in to another lobby type area, down another corridor, around another corner, and down the corridor where are room is located. We are not at all sure we'll find our way out in the morning! 

 

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Alan and the Peace Hotel door man.

 

The hotel is 5 star rated, and has all the extra touches like slippers by the bed and the rooms are quite big with a separate closet area and bar with tea/coffee making facilities and a small fridge. By the time we get our bags delivered, it is almost midnight Melbourne time, so we get ready for bed. Alan is watching TV and I'm typing this. Tomorrow we have our walking tour, boat ride and restaurant dinner. 

Edited by mazza

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Hello everyone

 

I will catch up on posting pre-cruise Shanghai, but the good news is we are now on the Millennium. We were picked up from our hotel at 1.30pm and after the one hour drive to the port, we were on board by 2pm. The embarkation process works fine, although it's spread over three locations. Because we have to provide a copy of our passport pages as well, there are two photocopiers as you come into the check in area, where copies can be made if you have forgotten yours. Next is security and then immigration - don't lose the departure card you get when you first arrive at the airport - they take it from you here. Alan told me he thought he'd throw his out and I had visions of him trudging away from the cruise terminal, and the rest of us cruising 🙂 Luckily, he had it in his bag - phew! Your sea pass card is now swiped like you do with tapping your credit card when you buy something but otherwise all is business as usual. One thing, because everyone was boarding after 2.30pm, we were all provided with packed lunches as we missed the usual embarkation day lunch. And the signs as you walk to the ship saying have your Chinese permit ready is only for Chinese citizens.

 

I said I'd tell you my first reactions of the cabin. I wasn't wowed, but I don't hate it either. The space between the bed and the veranda door is bigger than I remember, but I haven't been on Millennium for 11 years. The mini couch is a bit weird but it will be good for putting things on! Alan said they should have made the arm rests fatter so you could sit on them but that would take up more room. The veranda is longer and thinner than the S class but lots of room. I don't mind the decor at all, and the worst I'd call it is boring. I'm not offended by the brown tones at all and for me, the bathroom layout is much better, with a bigger shower than is on the S class. Alan, however, when I asked him what he thought, said it looked cheap and that they were trying to make it look modern. I'll ask my sisters for their feedback. Ultimately, I am on a cruise, and I'm very happy.

 

Also, one of our two bags were outside the cabin when we arrived - for all three of us - that's half an hour roughly from drop off to being outside the room. That was nice. I will post photos soon, but I have to go and have a welcome on board drink with Jenny and Elizabeth.

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10 hours ago, Rina155 said:

Quick question:  Who is the Captain on board?  Thanks!

It’s Captain Alex. His announcement yesterday after muster was entertaining 🙂

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Day 3: Shanghai: Part 1

Dodgy internet stopped me from posting on the day it happened, and then there was embarkation yesterday. So I’m playing catchup with my posts. This one is long and is in two parts.

 

A good night’s sleep was had, despite waking at 4am for a short while (7am in Australia). Breakfast on the Executive floor was quite nice, a reasonable selection including toast (important for me). Service here and generally is fantastic, and most times the language barrier is non-existent. I videoed our path from our room to the lifts to show how windy it was. There are signs everywhere but I managed to get lost once by not paying attention. I ended up in this lobby type area wtih a grand piano and a very elegant double stairway. 

 

After breakfast, AC, AL, Tom and me walked three blocks to the Apple Store because AC had forgotten his Apple Watch charger. He was going to leave the watch behind until I reminded him that somewhere in Shanghai there will be a tech store that will sell him an Apple Watch charger. Turns out it was down the street from the hotel. This was the biggest Apple store I’ve ever seen, upstairs and downstairs and connected to a shopping mall. I think they do everything big in China.

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Big Apple Store

 

We regathered in the lobby to meet our guide Portia, from Jenny’s Shanghai Tours, who was a delightful, bubbly and informative guide - perfect for us. We set off for the metro station to go the Confucius Temple. We paid for Portia’s ticket as well, and she gave us a lesson in how to buy tickets. We lined up at the door to wait for the train and piled on when it arrived. She said we were all young so we should stand together and not look for a seat. 

 

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Shanghai Metro 

 

We exited the metro station one stop later, and walked to the Temple via a tour of local food being sold in street front shops and via and older area of Shanghai. This reminded me of areas we had seen when we were here in 1984 but modernised. Still the tiny laneways, the tiny, tiny houses with so little room for a single family. We learned that windows in these buildings indicated the number of families living there and the number was always astounding. The land is owned by the government and people lease the building space. It is a community though and Portia told us about everyone knows each other and looks out for each other, so doors aren’t locked. Because this area is in central Shanghai though, Portia said that it would be demolished int the future. It was an eye opener in a good way for us, and reminded us to be grateful for what we have in Australia. 

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Old Shanghai

 

We then exited a rather narrow laneway, past people sitting on stools, and burning money in honour of their ancestors (so we couldn’t take any photos), past a low roof used a shoe airing space - all the shoes lined up in a row. Very funny, and a very clever space of ever inch available to them. The Confucius Temple was a few steps away. We waited while Portia bought tickets learned again about the purpose of the lion statues, and then went inside. Apart from learning about the school and the temple here, we learned that architechurally, an opening leading on to an opening was bad luck, so statues or sculptures were places in between. There were some lovely gardens here with a photo opportunity (Portia knew them all) and we spent some time here. 

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Confucius Temple View

 

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Us at Confucius Temple

 

Our final stop here was a tea ceremony, which was good fun, and even I learned a bit more about tea. The bundle of wrapped leaves that turned into a flower when allowed to steep was pretty impressive, and we were instructed in how to prepare tea properly - of course, I ended up buying some Oolong tea!

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The tea in ‘raw’ form that when steeped for about five minutes gave us the ‘flower’ in th photo above.

 

We then decided to have lunch since it 2pm and we’d been going since 10am. We had a dumpling restaurant lunch included in the tour, but Portia suggested a local restaurant that had a broader menu, and that sounded much better so we walked a little more and found two seats at the back. Portia asked us about the food we liked and ordered for us and did a good job. As promised, we were the only Westerners there, and we weren’t disappointed. We had dumplings, steamed buns, a chicken and rice dish, noodles and ..... topped off by beer and cokes. We chatted to Portia and learned more about her childhood and her life today which was great, but it made us a bit late leaving for our last stop, the YuYuan gardens. 

 

We walked for about 25 minutes at a steady pace, and wound our way through a very big shopping centre that was also very old - the buildings were 300-400 years old and the entrance to the gardens was at one end of them. we passed the first Starbuck’s in China and lots and lots of shops and people till we arrived a pond/lake. This was filled with giant koi and a zig zag bridge that was designed to leave our stresses behind. By looking forward and not looking back while we dodged people and got to the other side, we were in a new, fresher mindset, no longer stressed by the past - I have to admit, I liked that. 

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We waited for Portia to buy our tickets which were very carefully checked and we were counted by the security guard as we entered. I remembered parts of the Gardens from 1984, but essentially it was all new. It is a stunning place, built by a son for his father who was very old in 1559 in the Ming Dynasty. The son wanted his father to be able to experience nature close by rather than having to travel to the countryside. It had buildings and spaces, and landscapes that were so very detailed. Next was the Dragon Wall, with a 3D giant dragon’s head at one end, with a seated frog underneath, and a long, long tail atop the wall stretching out behind it. Our final stop was the Jade Rock which like all the rocks and the rest of the sculptures, lakes and landscapes was impressive.

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Yu Gardens94641922-A732-4C5B-953F-A7FAA1024608.thumb.jpeg.0019a693828c36f1ddc727aa6d6b65fe.jpeg

 

Dragon Wall

 

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Jade Rock

 

We were now a bit over our tour time, so we headed straight for the metro to get a train back to the hotel. It was crowded all the way as the station was attached to a shopping centre, and Portia was setting a brisk pace. At one point we lost her, and the three husbands, ahead of us, led us into a shopping centre. At this point, they said they had lost her, so off we went together, figuring that the best place to go was outside which we could see from where we were. We stopped there and a few second later a panting Portia arrived, frantic but happy we were reunited. We were back at the hotel very quickly, and saw Portia off with our many thanks for a wonderful tour.

 

Continued in Part 2.

 

Edited by mazza

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