We rose early-ish this morning, checked out of our hotel, and loaded the buses once again for the return trip to Shanghai. Our destination this time was the Sacrament Meeting of the Shanghai LDS Branch, in a very nice office building. We at least quadrupled the size of the congregation, and the speaking and music was turned over to the choir. It was good to hear our 4 choir members speak, and it’s always a joy to hear them sing.
We were turned loose at Nanjing Street again, though just for lunch this time. Today was a beautiful day, and the place was thronged with people—both Chinese and tourists. This time I had my camera, so you get a little flavor of it all.
We spent some time at the Yuyuan Gardens, and they were lovely…and also very crowded. We all took photos, and many photos were taken of us. I’m not sure what these Chinese plan to do with photos of random Americans; maybe they’re hoping one of us will become famous one day. Or maybe they were just intrigued with all these odd Caucasians who are dressed alike. This has been a constant activity all through tour; sometimes they pose with us, sometimes they just blatantly stop in front of us and take photos. It’s a bit unnerving.
After a short stop at the Bund area to see the spectacular architecture of the financial district and a few of the older English buildings that are now being renovated, we returned to our Vienna International Hotel, which is still far from Austrian. It does feel very familiar, though, if not quite home.
Many of us are in for an early evening; others went out to find some dinner. Our final day tomorrow will be a long day, so tonight is really our best time to prepare for the flight home. A few choir members will have to work hard to get their suitcases packed and under 44 pounds; they have had a great time shopping. And we get another bit of time at Nanjing Street tomorrow to finish our acquisitions.