Saturday, August 31, 2013

Trip to Shanghai - High Speed Train

High speed train in the station.

Last week Margot and I had to go to Shanghai to renew our residence permits.

We took the high speed train from Beijing to Shanghai. This is an identical train in the station at Nanjing. This was the only stop and it was about 5 minutes. It is a 1318 km or 800 mile trip and takes exactly 4 hours and 48 minutes. Currently the maximum speed is 300 kph or 185 mph.

The beauty of the train compared to airplane is that the train always leaves on time, you can get up and move around, and essentially no security hassles getting on.

These next few photos were taken out the train window and we whizzed through the country site.
Greenhouses in rural China

These are greenhouses. It is interesting that the are not everywhere but in clusters.  But the clusters are big. No idea how many acres are under roof here. They are pretty low tech - earthen mounds at the ends and plastic sheeting overhead.  The black is insulation to keep the heat in.
Cattle feeding operation in rural China

This is a cattle feeding operation.

No idea what they are planting this late in the season.

That roto-tiller is all the automation they are using in this field.

One of the challenges in Chinese agriculture is that, in general, they have very small operations. Each villager is allotted a small piece of land to work. This results in a patchwork of fields and crops. No economy of scale or much control over pesticide and fertilizer usage. This is starting to change as more families move to the cities.
Burial ceremony in rural China

This is a funeral or burial ceremony. You can see from the mounds and tablets that this is a cemetery. I think it is traditional for mourners to wear white.
Brick factory in rural China

This is a brick factory. These are dotted all over the countryside. Brick is the standard material of construction for fences, homes, etc. I don't mean brick facades as in the U.S.  - I'm talking solid brick walls. It is difficult to tell whether a structure is 1, 10, 100 or 300 years old since the techniques are timeless.

I'm pretty sure this is a quarry. Looks like the entire hill is being taken down. Apparently they don't have permission to change or move the tower on the hill top. Maybe it is some type of survey or navigation marker.
Shanghai skyline from Yu Garden Renaissance Hotel in Shanghai

We stayed at the Yu Garden Renaissance Hotel in downtown Shanghai. This is the view from the lounge on the top floor. This view is toward the east. The clouds are the remnants of a typhoon that hit China well to the south.
Shanghai Tower as seen from the lounge at the Yu Garden Renaissance Hotel in Shanghai

The tall building in the clouds is still under construction. When completed it will be the 2nd tallest in the world - at least for a few years.

They could have spent a little more money on the architectural consultants in charge of naming it. It is called the Shanghai Tower.
Yu Garden lights at night

This picture is of the tourist development near Yu Garden.  More on Yu Garden in a later posting but it is the dark area on the left side of the picture.

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