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Friday - May 18 - Up again at 0600 for another huge buffet at 0700 with waffles (not up to the previous day's hotel) At 0830 We depart for Yu Garden and Old Town Shanghai - then walk through the garden area and adjacent shops. This famous garden and villa complex was built by a gentleman for his parents, who didn't live to enjoy it. The first building is the Saisui Hall, then a Yonghan Hall, Wan Hua tower and replica of a Dragon Wall. Among the many trees and flowers is a Boxus simica Tree. There are roof guardians on the corners. We walk through a Jade Rock garden and across a Zig zag bridge to a 3 corner hall. Then we walk through the tourist area on Yu Yuan gardens Old street with its many narrow alley side streets and court yards. Set among the old style architecture are the KFC and Starbuck restaurants.
Next we take a short bus ride to the Bund embankment. Our local Shanghai guide is nearly run over by a bus that will not stop as he tries to make it stop for us to cross in a marked cross way. Cars and pedestrians pay no attention to each other, but busses are the worst. The Bund embankment is a famous location for photography of the remaining pre-revolutionary European community buildings. The next stop is at a Mongolian barbecue restaurant on the ground floor of a building that also houses the Shanghai General Carpet Factory, 25 Caobao Road. A manager shows us around the factory and sales rooms, demonstrating the special characteristics of silk rugs. Many of the most gorgeous 'rugs' are too expensive for floors and are used rather as wall hangings - like medieval tapestries in castles. The Mongolian meal is fun. After lunch we head to the Shanghai Museum for three hours. It is huge and excellent full of ancient artifacts as well as painting. Currently there is a special exhibition of American painting devoted to American History in art. All the ancient artifacts are displayed in well-lite and magnificent settings with descriptions. They include bronzes, ceramics, furniture, coins and currency, calligraphy, costumes of minorities and weapons. But the large museum book store has no books on ancient Chinese arms and armor. We are back to the hotel at 1730 for another buffet dinner with the standard huge number of selections. Again to sleep early.


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