Once again Viking does not disappoint. Super organized. We are divided into groups of 28 people per group and all have a slightly different itinerary. Our group escort -Coby – is excellent. If he says be there at a time because we’re moving on – he means it. His assistant stays behind to collect those who have yet to learn the courtesy of punctuality. There is only one couple in that category and I think they get the message.
Viking has preferred entry status to the attractions we visit, so while those many tourists waiting in long line ups look daggers at us as we whisk by them – we do not wait in lines.
We begin our day in the Yuyuan Gardens – again! This place is just as enchanting the second time. We see more nooks and crannies. The light is a little different as it is earlier in the day. There are fewer other people. Coby is a fountain of knowledge and his English is so good we don’t have to struggle to figure out exactly what he is saying.
An aside here. While we’ve been in contact with a considerable number of people who speak English – in that they understand our questions and have the vocabulary to respond – their accent is sometimes such that we can’t understand what they are trying to tell us. There is a tendency to blur phrases of several words into one unbroken string of sounds. For instance “We have two for one drinks.” Comes out something like, “weha-vetw-ofo-ro-ned-rinks.” A bit of a challenge to get the drift.
We have a bit of retail therapy time. It’s in a very busy tourist area. Lots of kitch. On the a silk embroidery art gallery. We learn a little about the creative process. Takes 10 months to over a year to creat some of the pictures. Lunch with the round susan offers a time to meet some of our travel companions and sample some highly peculiar dishes.
Off the the world renown Shanghai museum for the afternoon. It is well deserved of the reputation of being one of the world’s premier museums. Excellent exhibits. We explore only a few, but on our own so at our own speed and in accordance with our own interests. Back to the hotel I enjoy a luxurious bath in the enormous tub. Dinner, then out to an extraordinarily fantastic acrobatics show. Some very young and talented gymnasts. Truly incredible feats of physical strength and flexibility. Very colourful.