Our final two days in China have been wonderful. Yesterday, we drove to Zhujiajiao, a water village near Shanghai with almost two thousand years of history. This small town was built along canals and gives an ancient feeling not found in Shanghai. We walked along the canals and toured old homes built in the courtyard style.
We also visited a Buddhist temple and a Taoist temple. This trip has greatly changed my understanding of Taoism. I’ve always considered it more of a philosophy than a religion with a strong focus on nature. However, this is not this case in China. It is very much a religion, filled with hundreds of gods and the threat of a terrible afterlife. What is most interesting is how Taoism and Buddhism often share gods at their temples. Buddhist gods are often revered at Taoist temples and vice versa.
Last night we enjoyed a fabulous Shanghainese dinner. We ate at Meilongzhen, one of the most famous restaurants in Shanghai, housed in a building that was once home to the Communist Party. Seafood is the specialty and the highlight our meal was the Mandarin Fish. It was a whole fish served over noodles with a sauce that was sweet and spicy. We picked it clean with our chop sticks.
It has been extremely hot in Shanghai, so we’ve tried to stay out of the sun. Today we spent the day shopping around markets and stores. Haggling is truly an art form here, yet it’s exhausting!
Early tomorrow morning we head home. These two weeks have gone by quickly, and we’re very sad to leave Shanghai. The food here has been great, yet we do look forward to New York City pizza. Plus, a new niece has been born at home. We’re very eager to meet Jule Meghan Hirdt. What a great name! ‘
Thank you to everyone who has followed this blog. Your comments gave us a wonderful connection to home in such a foreign place.