Shanghai, China: August 11 and 12 (Gene)

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Our last two days in China passed very quickly. On the first day, we first went to a shopping strip called the  Chenghuang Temple. The weather was hot, in the high 80s, and the humidity level was extreme. Thus the stone floors radiated the heat back into our faces as we staggered through the various shops that seemed to be selling all of the same things. Will and I ended up going to a Dairy Queen which was conveniently located inside the area. The motto for the blizzards there was "Served upside down, or its free!", which didnt seem that effective due to the fact that the blizzards melt in about a minute after you begin to eat it. After leaving Chenghuang Temple, we arrived at Nanjing street, where we had three hours during which we could wander around and shop to our heart's content. Most of us had practically run out of money by this point of the trip, so it turned into mostly seeing the sights, taking pictures and looking in shops for the last time before we left for the good old USA .
 
After the three hours were up, we proceeded by foot to the Huangpu river waterfront to see the brilliant shores of the beatiful metropolis of Shanghai. Unfortunately this trip wound up with the group staring at the amazing surroundings of a nearby subway station as the weather decided to get unfriendly on our unprepared heads. 15 minutes later, as the rain continued to fall, our bus arrived and whisked us back to our hotel for a few hours before dinner and one of the highlights of the entire trip. The Shanghai World Financial Center is the tallest building in Asia, standing at 474 meters and boasting the world's highest observatory. This was further emphasized by the fact that when we reached the 94th floor, the night view of downtown Shanghai was breathtaking. Towering over all the nearby buildings, it was a very impressive sight. After witnessing this tower, we returned home to rest for our last day in China.
 
On the second and last day in Shanghai and China, we went to the China Pavilion which was built for the World Expo in 2010. This massive red building was one of the most impressive buildings that we saw during our stay in China. Once inside, we visited exhibits which depicted China's modern history from the revolution to the present. The majority of the of the exhibits were centered on the people and culture of the past and present, or sustainability and clean energy of the future. After our tour of the Pavilion, we went to the Huangpu waterfront, which we had missed to inclement weather. Although the clouds we beginning to creep in, the view was no less than impressive. As we had some time to kill, some people went to the conveniently located Haagen-Dazs to have a snack. My "snack" turned out to be the "Lost in Manhattan”, a massive tower with chocolate ice cream, curls of chocolate, all supported by a brownie at the bottom, while Nick got the "Swiss Rolls Tempting“, which consisted of swiss rolls filled with strawberry ice cream with mango and raspberry ice cream delicately arranged on a white plate. After this extremely satisfying snack, we went back to our hotel to pack and prep for our long journey and voyage home.