Day 3 – Learning

Another great day in Shanghai.

In the morning we went down to Yu Garden again to this time have a guided tour through this amazing park. Our really great guide gave us quite some background on the Chinese garden art (have a look at the pics below). The pictures can’t really capture the beauty of the garden, you really have to see this yourselves, but maybe you get an impression and a trigger to make the trip.

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The following picture shows three limestone. The one in the middle has 70 holes “drilled” by natural water flow, all connected – so if you pour water on the top it will spill out through all other holes or – if you light an incense cone on the bottom the smoke will come out through all – funny piece of nature.

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We also learned why dragons in Shanghai do only have three fingers on their claws – 5 fingers can only be seen in Beijing, reserved for the emperor; having a dragon with 5 fingers somewhere else would have been considered as a threat and punished severely…..

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Also notice the pearl in the dragon’s mouth – this is where the dragon get’s his strength from. The frog beneath the dragon’s mouth is waiting for his own food (the dragon’s saliva)

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The following pic (actually showing our nice guide Hans on stage) shows an impressive piece of architecture. It’s the theatre in the garden, built by leveraging on quite some nice physics to have a great sound quality: It stands half on ground, half on water, the water reflects voice back to the building in the back of the theatre which in return echoes back so the actors on stage can be heard extremely well.

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Do you see how the female bows her head while the male prances? These figures were made a few hundred years before the Yu Garden was created – times have changed a real lot since then 😉 

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Can you see the small pavilion to the upper left? This one used to be the highest building in Shanghai – at a hight of 14m.

A few more random takes from this morning in Yu Garden – we do have quite some more (and some of you might be forced to see them when we meet back home)

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Next stop today was a (bit touristy) Chinese tea ceremony – but still great. Learned about different teas, how to present, how to boil, how to drink…we always liked tea, but we got a new perspective today (and some interesting, if not really great, new tastes)

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It’s been quite interesting seeing the flowers flourish in the hot water (plus a real great taste)

Continuing our education on Chinese culture we drove to the Jade Buddha Temple. No pictures in the Jade Buddha Chamber allowed, but here you can see a few from the Chamber of Four Heavenly Kings and the Grand Hall:

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Last educational session today was a quick tour in a silk factory. We were kind of impressed learning that there’s basically a 100% use of the “material”. Silk threads from the cocoons are of course used for the silk itself while the larvae are used for different economics like animal food or ingredient for Chinese medicine or beauty products. Of course this requirse the death of the larvae…

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Now we really needed to relax for some time, so we drove over to the French Concession – beautiful place, great mix of old and modern, great shops, nice food stands, bars & restaurants, very open community, 

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…plus a very interesting way to serve drinks:

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….and I almost forgot the museum opposite side of the road:

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Final stop today was the Shanghai circus – not allowed to take pictures during the show though….so here just one inside the lobby:

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The show itself was impressive, although we’re both not really circus fans. I actually believe some of the folks on stage can’t have bones in their bodies – or made of a very flexible material.

 

That’s it for today – tomorrow we’ll go to see the Shanghai “Venice” – stay tuned

/Chris

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