Sunday, 6 May 2012

37.6C, 252km/h ~ Steph

As everyone else is snoring away, once again I am nominated to update the blog!  I will tell you one thing about jetlag... we were struggling with Logan, getting him to stay up and NOT go to bed so early!  Very unusual with kids as its normally a struggle to get them into bed!

About the blog title... those were the two extremes we saw today across the LCD screen while we were on the train.  The day started once again as... you guessed it, Steve showing up bright and early with breakfast for us once again.  This time it was some delicious fried-bread wrap of sorts, some meat steam buns and some warm fresh soya milk.  We were then taken to the Hongxiao Railway Station.   As we were driving to the railway station, we bid a fond adieu to beautiful and multifaceted Shanghai.  As it was early on the Sunday morning, traffic was very light comparatively speaking.


The Hongxiao Railway Station was very large and very well organized.  The whole process of getting in, security and boarding the train went extremely smoothly except for about 3 minutes of chaos as everyone tried to use the 'early boarding' gate specially reserved for elderly or people with children 3 and under.  I figured hey, we have 3 children... and tomorrow we'll have one more, and she is just 3!  So we took advantage of the early boarding gate too!  They were actually pretty strict as to who got through, but since I looked like a naive foreigner who did not understand (which of course I didn't but Sara filled me in later) they were kind and allowed us to force our way through the crowd!

The train system here in China is amazing!  What a great way to travel!  We had large, very comfy seats.  The train was soooo smooth, despite the high speeds.  Between Shanghai and Wuhan, the train stopped perhaps about 12 or 14 times.  At the smaller stations, the train operates sort of like a subway.... the doors stay open for a few minutes, people get off and on, and then there's a whistle, the doors close and the train is on its way!

Inside the train car, there was an LCD screen that gave information about the next stop.  Periodically it gave the speed of the train.  The maximum speed we saw was the 252km/h.  The train usually traveled at around 200km/h.  At each stop, it gave the current temperature outside.  The highest temperature we saw was the 37.6C.  By the time we got to Wuhan, the outdoor temperature was down in the 35C range!  Once again, the children traveled wonderfully well.  We have great kids who are such good sports.  They are lots of fun to be with!

The scenery was absolutely breathtaking!  We traveled through several large urban centers but of particular interest was the rural scenery.  For a country of such a large population, there is so much empty green space in China!  We saw many bodies of water, rolling hillsides and agricultural areas.

The juxtaposition again of the ancient forms of growing rice in water-flooded paddies, working in bare feet with oxen, with the modern technology of skyscrapers and even nuclear reactors nearby was startling.  Very much the ancient and modern faces of China are evident everywhere.

We arrived in Wuhan and met up with our guide after a small misunderstanding.  She was waiting at the east gate, we got out at the west gate.  No problems, we met up, went to the hotel, had a little shopping trip, back to the hotel for a late supper with sleepy kids and piled into beds once more.

Tomorrow, we get Li Lin!


  1. What tremendous experience the kids are facing. You as well. They will talk about this trip for a very long time. Aside from all this, the best is yet to come. I am on pins and needles. Can't wait to meet LiLin live.... on SKYPE.

  2. I know how hard it is to travel with jatlag,especially the kids! But they look wonderful and cheerful! Shanghai has the best railway system in China.It's good that you tried it!
    Think you are meeting little Li lin now!!!