Thursday, July 30, 2009

Shanghai heights

Arriving back yesterday after around 72 hours of marginally interupted travel meant that I was never going to get anything terribly productive done. Today has been suprisingly smooth, given the mosquito buzz filled slumber I got last night but I'm now flagging.

I did take the opportunity yesterday to go through a few photos from Shanghai, though I'm yet to go through my eclipse photos in the detail they need yet.

I was in Shanghai for around five days before heading West for the eclipse and had a good length of time to do all the very touristy things which I've never had a chance to do there before (last time I was in the city for 24 hours for a wedding). This included a trip to the top of the Jinmao tower, China's second tallest building, just next to the tallest building, the bottle opener (depending on who you ask - if you ask anyone in China they will tell you that the Taipei 101 is the tallest building in China).

From the top you get a good sense of the scale of this city of 20 million and the amazing variety of architecture, in the skyscrapers, in the Bund and in the burgeoning sprawl which goes on into the haze of rippling heat and smog-filled air.

From the inside the Jinmao tower is spectacular. Around half way up you'll find a hotel which can be peered at from the observation deck around the 80th floor and the seeming helix of mezzanine levels is hypnotic:
Inside the Jinmao tower
Looking out you also get a series of stunning views, of the river:
Panorama from the Jinmao
and of the buildings around:
Pearl tower panorama
One of my favourite views takes in this triptych of the sharp edges of the Jinmao, the towering reflection of the bottle opener, and the swathe of the city into the distance:
Shanghai triptych
All photos can be clicked for larger versions.

During the many hours of traveling over the last few days I was able both to read a great deal and also to make some plans for myself for the next few weeks and in general for the next year. For now there are things which I need to get finished in the coming days and so I'll get on with processing the rest of the photos either when the current tasks are finished or when jet-lag means that my brain is too mushy to do anything more academic.

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