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The Shanghai Sandal Temple Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day Toya Woke up this morning feeling totally refreshed and ready for my usual new city Temple Day. This is where I circle temples all over the city and walk to as many of them as possible. Itfs not really the temple that I want to see. I do love them though. Its more the einbetween bits and bobsf that you get to see whilst zig zagging your way around the city streets and back lanes. My walk today took me from the Nanjing Road area all the way up to the borders of the Puto and Jing'an Districts and then all the way down to the Xuhui, Longhua, and Luwan Districts. It was a huge walk but I got to see so much and see how the city changes between districts. The difference between the Jing'an District and the Longhua District is so huge. They might as well belong to two completely different cities. Of course my favourite for the day was the Longhua District. It was more old china. It was dusty and pretty much what I am used to. I wish I had of spent more time there but by the time I got there the day was nearly over. Anyhow, to the days walk. I decided to begin my walk at the Jufo Si (temple). This temple is found between ChangShou and An Yuan Roads right on the border of Puto and Jing'an districts. I made my way to the City Square Gardens first and had a short walk around before hitting Nanjing Road which took me around the back of the gardens and into the Jing'an Disrict. I then zig zagged my way up towards the temple. It was a very beautiful place to walk around. The temple cost 20 Yuan to enter and was built around 1911. Once inside the hussle and bussle of the world outside are forgotten for a short time. It's obviously a very wealthy temple and the cars parked outside the expensive buisness section of it at its rear show this.

After Yofu Si I once again zig zagged my way through the little streets of Jing'an towards Yan An Road. There was a lot of wealth in this area and I felt like I was actually walking around the Melbourne suburb of Malvern. Big houses, big fences and public toilets that cost more than most Chinese earn in a life time. But it was so nice to use spotless public toilets againDI tried to be a dog and spare a little for each public toilet that I passed just to get to use as many sparkling toilets as possible. The cars driving around this area probably cost more than I'll make for the rest of my life. I finally reached Yan An road and found the Jing An Gongyuan (park) where I slowly walked around in peace and quiet. It was a beautiful park and the little section that I think was called eThe Five Rock Gardensf (?) was very beautiful. Whilst walking I also searched for the temple. No matter how hard or how many times I walked around the park I couldn't locate the damn Temple.. Finally I stopped to rest and chatted to a Canadian guy and his Chinese girlfriend. Upon leaving I asked them where the temple was. They laughed and pointed across the road to the temple. Bugger! So I'm an idiot!

I had walked past the temple on the way to the park and thought it was a shopping centre. Shops like Vogue etc have stores built into the temple walls. I paid my 10 Yuan to enter the shopping centre/temple (har har) and didn't really find it that attractive. I didn't stay long at all and was soon zig zagging my way down through the Xuhui District. I stopped in at a KFC for a cheap coffee fix and a salsa wrap. Man I can't get enough of KFC's salsa wrap. We really do need a store in Shaowu. I finally found HengShan Road and spotted what I was aiming for. The spires of the Xuguangq Mausoleum came into view. Dark and out of place, they reach for the heavens in the wrong part of the world. In the LP its known as St Ignatius Cathedral and on the church gates it's known as St Peters. What ever saint it was named after it was a strange and out of place building. The multi-story glass faced church built next to it was right at home. But I love old temples and churches and sat to rest my feet whilst staring at itfs strange facade. A bit of info forya; in this area there was once a Jesuit setlement and the cathedral spires were chopped off by the red guards during China's 'funny time'.

Enough said the next black circle marked on my map was for the Longhua Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery and the Longhua Temple in the Longhua District. I knew nothing about the cemetery except that it was a green patch on my map and in China a green patch on a map is worth pointing your sandals towards. I made my way down HengShan Road and continued to follow it after it turned into Caoxi Road. I passed by the Shanghai Stadium and then turned left into Long Cao Road which took me into the district of Longhua. I fell for this part of the city straight away. It was full of little market stalls that lined the streets and there were bbq stalls everywhere. There was a huge difference in hussle and bussle and the vibe of this section compared to the others I had visited today. This was very Chinese and I loved it. I found the cenetary and paid my one or four yuan entry fee. I can't remember which one it was. I entered and spent the next hour walking around in absolute peace and quiet. The gardens were very beautiful and the actual mausoleum was an awesome huge glass pyramid. I spent some time sitting in the bamboo garden chatting to two Chinese uni students. I asked them some questions about the cemetary and like me, they had no idea as they only come here for the peace and quiet. Behind the pyramid is the Shrine to The Unamed Martyrs. It is a huge half body that sits on a little hill. I thought it was rather impressive, infact I found the entire cemetary empressive and worth a visit.

I left the cemetary and slowly made my way through the crowded streets towards the Longhua Temple. It wasn't a long walk but the temple was putting on a celebration for the people. An amusement park lined the streets and people were happily trying to win soft toys by throwing rings around cups etc. By the time I reached the temple it was closed but the festival was in full swing all around it. I had a beer and some meat sticks with a man and his nephew and then as the sun slowly made its way elsewhere I began my long journey home. I zig zagged my way back through the Xuhui District where I past several universities and walked amongst European looking buidlings again. I crossed in to Luwan District at ShanXi Road and after crossing ChongQing Road I was back in Huangpu District and soon home. It was a long day and a huge walk but it was worth every step. I got to see so much of inner Shanghai, shared a beer and meat sticks and walked amongst so many types of architecture. I couldn't have been happier if I was twins. After a shower I had a sleep for an hour and then headed back to Jamaca Blue cafe. I really wanted to have the tuna sandwhich Daniel had on our first day. Not long after I sat and ordered two western girls walked past and one of them ran over yelling Steve Steve. GfDay Mate I said, sorry but I'm not Steve. She was meeting some guy she hadn't seen for many years and I guess I looked kind of like himcpoor bugger! I spent the night chatting to several people who wanted to share etwo for onef huge Tiger Draughts. Around midnight I finally put my feet up to rest. Beers N Noodles to ya...shane The sountrack to this entrywas Inxs The album was one that always makes me roll around the floor in my crappy office chair. Full of remixes, it's called eAll Juiced Upf It was a nice find in a second hand cd shop manya year ago.

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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