June 28~29, Trip to Nanjing, and a lot of pictures:
The older the boys get, the harder it seems to be taking them on a road trip. We thought it would be a good idea to take them to Nanjing, visiting Lijuan (Michael’s Chinese teacher at Confucius Institute). The high speed rail between Shanghai and Nanjing now shortens the 3 hour trip to just over 1 hour (not surprising that in less than 5 hours to go to Beijing from Shanghai now, only 3 years ago the first generation high speed train shocked everyone by making it 8 hours, makes you wonder how much faster can China go on the high speed trains). This time I took the picture of the speed 330km/hr (just over 200 MPH), pretty amazing, the train was comfortable even though we were surprised with a RMB 146(USD 25) ticket, and that’s the second class seating, the train to Nanjing was really crowded, plenty people had to stand in the hallway!
Lijuan picked us up from the train station with her brand new Volkswagen, it was a really big and beautiful SUV, and perfect to haul a family like ours, my aunt came along and she’s always a big help. Looking back, I don’t know if we would ever leave the hotel without a car and her driving (yes in China neither of us dares to drive). We stayed at the Holiday Inn Aqua City, it was very convenient for us to walk to Confucius Temple, and there’s endless shopping nearby, actually in the Aqua City. We spent only two days there, but went to Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum, visited Lijuan’s home (played some games) and walked around Lake Mochou, had a lot of snacks at Confucius Temple night market, met Dr. Xu for dinner, took the boys to a children’s store and played some games, it was great fun. I am so glad we made the trip, that completes the travel journey for the boys’ first year. They were so active in the hotel, so much that they broke the hotel crib (it looked nice but wasn’t well-built). Lijuan took us to lunch, dinner and even snacks, we felt really spoiled! We also love her apartment, its right by the famous Lake Mochou, and a really lovely community. Her mom also came and met us on the second day, she loved the boys and even fed them at lunch.