I can’t believe we were the first ones to go to the Shanghai Tower out of any of the CSP participants! It was amazing. We were all so excited, even the adults were as excited as the kids. But, before I tell you about the tower itself, I must tell you about leading up to getting there. It was our first day in Shanghai. We just finished settling in at the Astor House Hotel after which we met in the lobby before heading out to lunch. We walked around the corner from the hotel to a bar and grill called the Red Elephant. It was nice. After lunch we went back to the hotel briefly to get ready to go see the Shanghai Tower and the famous Shanghai night scenery along the Bund. The Bund is a place of historical buildings from many countries lining the Huangpu River that once had lots of banks and trading houses. At first, it was a British Settlement and was later combined with the Americans too.
After we walked across a bridge on the opposite side of the street from the hotel to get to the Bund, we stopped to admire one particular tower called the Oriental Pearl which I initially thought was the Shanghai Tower. Its construction started on July 30th, 1991 and was completed in 1994. It was the tallest building at one point. Following the brief pause, we walked across part of the Bund for a quick second to get tickets to hop on a ferry to get to the other side of the Huangpa River. After we got off the ferry, Ms. Durdin asked someone for clear walking directions on how to get to the Shanghai Tower. When we got to the tower, we stood outside to take some pictures of the wording that flashed colorful lights diagonally across the tower vertically starting from bottom and going to the top. The moments to take pictures and wow at the tower didn’t last too long before we went to get our tickets. We were inside before we knew it going through security, and a museum display of the world’s tallest towers. This was a nice section and especially the mini show about the Shanghai Tower; it was quite flashy. The construction of the Shanghai Tower started on November 29, 2008 and ended on September 9, 2014. Finally we found our way to the elevator and patiently waited our turn. We went up in two groups. I thought the elevator would go really fast passing each of the 127 floors, but it actually went really fast to the level of Observatory and museum on the 118 floor. Some of our ears popped on the way up as we watched the monitor show how fast we were going and which floors we passed. We made it to the top in about 55 seconds. This elevator is claimed to be the fastest in the world. It was a spectacular view up at the top. There were also binocular machines to view the scene of the Bund through as well. It rained that day so it was cloudy, but we could still see the amazing view. I also found some really interesting things in the museum. There was this one simulation called the breaking glass simulation where this screen beneath your feet started to crack and then break so you can see all of the Shanghai night below you. It’s wasn’t that scary to me. Our next stop was to the gift shop. It had everything ranging from Shanghai Tower metal models or Shanghai Tower water bottles in the shape of the tower and everything else from A-Z. It even had a postal station to mail written postcards right in the gift shop! I filled out two cards and mailed them in the huge round red post box. After we left the gift shop, I thought we were going to leave, but we stayed and took group photos, and individual photos in an area that captured all the flashy lights you can see outside on the street level. It actually made it feel like it was the holidays with all the lights and calmness. I think we even bothered a woman who was sitting by the window in a complete daze zombie like state. I wonder what she was thinking about.
Finally, we left the Observatory Deck to go back downstairs. As we got off the elevators, I started to get hungry. I waited for the other group to receive instructions from Ms. Durdin about dinner. I was really happy when she gave us a hundred RMB to spend for food. As we finished eating, I thought to myself that we are a very lucky group without us even knowing it that we were the first CSP class to visit the Shanghai Tower. Soon, we were back on our way to the ferry. When we got to the ferry dock, there was a big surprise for us, the ferry already closed. Ms. Durdin asked the guard to point us in the direction of the subway station and we rushed down the street to get to the subway before it closed as well. We all made it in time. I believe we were on the last train though. After we got off, I was so very happy we made it to the other side of the river. The question in my mind was “What were to happen if we didn’t make it”…
Once again, it was a very nice outing. Thank you Ms. Durdin!