Somehow it always seems like the last thirty minutes always take the longest. After a sixteen hours confined to a small space on a fast moving train the desire to breathe fresh air is strong. It was a good journey overall filled with much banter and laughter. As we approached the city the surrounding areas were filled with buildings that housed the burgeoning population.
Shanghai definitely has a feel to it. The cab driver that drove us to the hotel navigated the tragic well. The hotel is basically in the center of the city and when we got to our room we realized that we lucked out in getting a suite.
There was only a short period of time before we set off on our first activity. It was a visit to the Shanghai Museum. We got off the train at about twelve-thirty and were supposed to set off at two but didn’t until two-thirty. We are close to the museum grounds and the short walk was nice after being cooped up inside the carriage of the train. We had limited time within the museum but this was coupled with the exhaustion of the train. The museum held some impressive artifacts that weren’t appreciated by the tired mind. I wish I had the concentration to focus on the coin and money display a bit more.
There was a display on many things that are important to Chinese culture like calligraphy and jade as well as displays on sculpture and porcelain which was particularly impressive. All in all we spent about an hour and a half wandering the four levels of the museum. We then went on a short orientation walk down the main padestrian thouroughfare that lies nearby.
We then had a few minutes to get ready for the nights entertainment which was seeing the Chinese acrobats perform. We had to take the metro to the event. The trip alone was entertaining as we waded through the crowd to the venue.
The show was to begin at eight o’clock. The event is staged in what appears to be a purpose built stage. We had quite decent seats taking up the top row of the bottom section to the stage’s left. The show began with a solo display of balance and strength and just continued on to impress.
There were the cycling gymnasts who kept doing crazier and crazier things on the bikes. Eventually all of them balanced on one cycle as a finale. Then as a show of strength an man tossed and balances a pot in various ways and there was also that guy who balanced on a roller on top of three levels tossing bowls and catching them on top of his head. There were the gymnasts flying through hoops and the four female contortionists balancing themselves on top of each other.
There was a short intermission giving us enough time to decompress and grab a beverage. After the intermission the show began with a shadow show and some twirling before another display of balance, flexibility and strength by a solo gymnast. The show segwayed into jumping acrobatics from a see saw and then on trampolines. This was followed by the big wheel spinning round and round three stories high and the ribbon performance displaying both strength and daring. The ribbon performance was a man and a woman expressing the age old dance of love and passion. Their high flying acrobatics were one of the best performances I’ve seen. It was hard not to feel adrenaline flowing as they circled in the air gracefully catching and holding each other. The best as they say is saved for last. This was the globe of death as a motorbike raced around inside at high speeds. Many may have seen such displays but here they took it to another level. The single rider was followed inside by another and then another until there were five of them inside. We all thought this was it but then three more riders entered the globe and raced around inside. It was a wonderful show.
After the show we were all buzzing from what we saw. Everyone was impressed by the display that we experienced and some were shaking from the adrenaline of watching the high wire acts and the thought of what could go wrong. Nothing did thankfully but there was one point on the giant wheel when the performer was close to loosing his balance. The whole thing was well produced and skillfully displayed. A really good show and highly recommended for anyone who travels to Shanghai. It is called Era.
After the show we made our way back to the hotel and most people wanted to go out to the bar. I however was and am still feeling the effects of the bug. I don’t want to push the envelope and fall over the edge of infection. I know myself and know when to draw the line so I declined. Instead I decided to walk to the rivers edge and capture the skyline in its nighttime glory. I reached the viewing platform and captured a few test shots in preparation for the actual shot when I realized that the lights went out. At eleven they shut off the lights illuminating the buildings. I felt a bit disappointed but at least I have a couple of shots that are good. I returned to the hotel and turned down the offer of a massage from a normally dressed lady of the night. Discretion is the better form of valor they say. Here they don’t look fondly on such activities.