The Three Gorges of the Yangzi, Days 23 and 24: Taking the Train to Shanghai and exploring China’s “Gate to the West”.
After taking the train from Yichang to Shanghai yesterday morning, we spent the last two days of our trip exploring China’s modern “gate to the west”. It actually took us some time to get used to the sight of white and long-nosed fellows like ourselves again because cycling through the non-tourist Chinese hinterland for more than two weeks we had hardly seen any other foreigners.
Besides enjoying the sight of the famous Bund at the banks of the Huangpu river, and looking up to the giant skyscrapers at Lujiazui, the most interesting bit of sightseeing was the wedding market inside the People’s Park. Despite the modern and western appeal of the city, the picture of parents advertising their sons or daughters on posters pinned to umbrellas inside the alleys of the park made us very well aware that we were still in a culture very much different to the European.
Then at our last joined dinner, it was time to say good-bye and recap everything we had seen during the last three weeks. Walking through Beijing, climbing the Great Wall, and seeing the Terracotta Warriors had experienced the magnificence of the old Chinese Imperial Culture. Climbing Mount Hua, cycling through steep river canyons and through fantastic mountainscapes, we got a glimpse of the great nature and landscape of China. And finally we had experienced the great contrasts within this country, with its terraced fields and low-tech farming on the one side and all the gigantic construction projects and booming cities on the other side. We have eaten a huge diversity of tasty food and have gotten along well with each other. Ganbei and good-bye! Who knows – we might soon see each other again on another trip!