Sunday, January 6, 2013

June 23; tour begins - Shanghai to Nanjing

Day 139

It's 5:50 am and we receive our first wake up call. Ugh. 10 minutes later, we get our second wake up call. One bad thing about tours - crazy early start times.  One fantastic thing about tours is the continental buffet breakfasts.
danish, hashbrown+ketchup, noodles, cheese+crackers,
sooo yummy!
The tour is in Mandarin but the tour guide speaks a little bit of English. He doesn't translate everything, only the important instructions, like check in instructions and meeting times. We happily board the bus and go along for the ride. No worrying about missed trains and getting lost!
On the first day the tour took us to:
Yuyuan bazaar with stereotypical Chinese architecture.
tour guide in purple giving instructions.

which way...
True Blood reference!

The Shanghai Museum, in which we had one hour to explore whatever we wanted. I ended up covering 2 of the 4 floors.

one exhibit of the many
I love furniture
and weapons
couldn't find my nationality. 
old money
Lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Everyone is assigned to a table. We share the table with a nice Chinese (duh) family. The meals are preordered and ready for us so we don't waste time.

After lunch, we are en route to our next city, Nanjing - one of the ancient capitals.
We sit at the back of the bus - which makes sense since we don't understand Mandarin...and we're probably the loudest. Thank goodness there's no washroom at the back of this bus.
much needed washroom break. 
UofT advertisement!
Our first destination in Nanjing is the Zhongshan Mountain Scenic Area. Out of the three scenic areas, we go to the main one, the Mausoleum of Sun-Yat. Sun-Yat Sen is the founder of the Republic of China and their first president.
it would probably take half a day at the least to cover all that. One bad thing about tours: they're rushed,
riding on carts to get around.

We stop here so the guide can lecture. The guide tells us to stick together until he tells us otherwise. So we're stuck listening to the Chinese lecture.
after climbing more than a hundred steps, we get this hazy/pretty view.
i like his suspenders and murse.
I love how there's no third wheeling
waiting for everyone to finish up
ugh, what is that? toxic?
oh! coins!
We have dinner at the largest restaurant in Asia: Sunward Fishery Restaurant. The selection was alright. Just because it's the biggest doesn't mean its the best.
Inside the restaurant is a display of jade. We listen to the guide talk about jade before actually going to the restaurant. 

After dinner, we go to the Confucius Night Market to take a quick stroll. There's the famous Confucius Temple that we did not actually go inside, some brand name stores, stalls, and restaurants. The prettiest thing is definitely the lake that's lit up. 
After a fully loaded day of touristy things, we finally get to the Ding Ding hotel for the night. They originally put three people in a two person room, but the guide called and said that they have another room available for the extra person. I had yet to unpack so I venture off to the lonely one person room in the Ding Ding Hotel. To my surprise, I see the exact same room, just with a king sized bed. My executive room:
goooood night

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