Day 8-Georgia

We got ready to leave for Shanghai. Our tour guide, Rose, said we weren’t going directly to Shanghai, first we were stopping at this ancient water town called Tong Li. We went to the gardens hPa day Rose and the other tour guide told us to get into groups of five or six. In my group there was Ebony, two girls from Maiden Gully called Milana and Sasha, and two girls from another school. Our task: to find the five pictures on a piece of paper. There was a decorative stone floor(easy), a window(also easy), a rooftop (semi-hard), a door that looked like a vase (hard), and a painting (HARDEST THING POSSIBLE). Anyway, our group didn’t finish first nor last. Then we went on a river cruise, the limit was six a boat, we only had five so Mr Freer got Milana to join us. Then when it finished we waited for the rest of Maiden Gully before going to find an ice cream store (it was very hot). We found one and then went and waited for the tour guides. Then we had lunch before going back to board the bus. We drove to the Park Hotel, Shanghai. Then we got off, grabbed our suitcases, and waited to see what room we were in. Then we went upstairs.

At five we come down for tea, Mr Freer said we were having McDonalds because they didn’t know how long the food at a restaurant would take, then we got on the line one Met to get to Shanghai Circus World. We then went and had a look around a square for half an hour, we were meant to meet at seven and it was only 6:30. When we were allowed in, we got popcorn, lollies and drinks before going and getting good seats. At 7:30 the show started. There was this lady who was balancing on one hand, doing things like handstands and swapping hands. Then these ladies on bicycles came out. One was going backwards in the middle of the ring doing a mono. Then the other ladies come back out and they were doing things on their bikes like handstands on their handlebars. Then 3 bikes left, and four ladies so there were three bikes and five ladies. Two ladies had a ladies with them and they were doing front flips to the bike in front and back to the one behind. Then there was this man who stacked rings on a trailer and then men were doing flips and the sort through them. There were more cool stuff, but I can’t really remember them. At the end they had not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7, but 8 motorbike riders going around in the metal cage thing at ONCE. That was just Unreal. Then after the show finished we got the met back to People’s Square and went to the hotel to pack our bags properly before going to bed.

Day 7- Georgia

We got up, to realise that we weren’t in a hotel, but at our home stay Sophie’s place. We had breakfast (dumplings) before going to Xincheng Gardens Primary School. We then went to the room where we were yesterday, before going to an art class. In the art class we made rice dumplings (ones we couldn’t eat though). They are very tricky. We then had photos before having morning tea. We then went out side for their snack play. We watched the kids roller blade around the running track (one: it’s a four hundred metre running track. 2: YES THEY DO HAVE A ROLLERBLADING TRACK). Then some kids (not me though) assembled a soccer team, and so did some of the Chinese students for a game of soccer, score 0-0.  Then we had lunch before photos and getting these circles of younger students crowding us to have toys.

We then went back to our hotel (Grand MetroPark Hotel) to drop our bags off. Then we went to where we would learn Chinese Kung Fu. After we learnt it we watched the teacher do a performance. He was really cool, he used these 19th century whips, nunchucks, and he even broke an iron rod on his head and one by hand. Ouch! Then we went to the Humble Administrators Garden. Back 500 years ago, this garden was built. When the man who built it died, his son got it. His son liked gambling and soon gambled it away to three new owners. Each owner changed the garden to suit their likings. It was very cool. (There are photos at the bottom.) There were some cool rock stairs/hiding spots. Then we had dinner, which was nice. I was glad there were no duck tongue though. That was weird. Athen we went back to the hotel and went to bed.

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Day 6 – Georgia

We left the hotel to go to Xincheng Gardens Primary School, our sister school in Suzhou, this school is also Big Hills sister school. We went to the Conference Room and met up with Peter, Sophie, Angela, Wendy and the students who went to Big Hill last October-December. We then were given what I’ll call “Welcome Presents” which were bookmarks (that’s going to get lots of use), and some of the students had bought presents, which Sophie did. She gave Phoebe and I a little purse each. We then had a tour of the school, we first went to the Ancient Biology Room, it was really cool with fossils and skeletons of dinosaurs and animals from back then. We then went to the art gallery, some of the students there are very good artists and photographers. Then we went outside to watch the morning exercise. It is very cool to watch. We then went back and had morning tea, which was dumplings and some white tea. When classes restarted we went to a calligraphy class, it was very cool to watch and even more fun when we had to pair up with a student and they taught us how to do it. I was ok… (I think.) Anyway, then we went back up and had lunch before leaving to go back to the hotel before getting picked up for the home stay.

When Sophie and her mum Jessie turned up, Phoebe and I were ready to leave, but first we waited for Angela’s dad (Angela had gone with Sophie and Jessie). We then went to Pin Jiang Road, were we walked along until we found the art gallery. We went inside and we then waited a bit before we could sit down and have a shot at Chinese Painting. We traced over a lotus flower. We then walked until we reached the Pottery, where we were able to start straight away. The potter was walking between the 6 of us (Sophie, Phoebe, Zoe, Ebony, Angela and me) and helping us create bowls and vases, it’s very difficult and very messy. After we all finished we left and got on this small boat for a river cruise (Pin Jiang Road is next to one of the rivers/canals). It was a little bit rocky, and we took lots of photos and at the end Angela used her dad’s phone to play Starving by Hailee Stienfield ft. Zedd. We then got on these bicycles with carriages to fit three of us kids on the seat. The men riding the bikes rode us down to the end and we then went for dinner with Sophie and Angela’s friends. After we’d finished eating we went outside and Zoe and Ebony were doing gymnastics and I was dancing. Sophie, Angela, Jessie and their friends really like watching it. We then went our seperate ways and promised to meet up with them tomorrow morning at 8am. {I think I forgot to mention that Xincheng Gardens start at 8:00am and end at 3:45pm. Sophie said that there are seven classes a day.}

Day 5 – Georgia

We got up at 7 for Skyping school assembly. There were some great questions from kids. We then had breakfast before heading back up to our rooms to finish packing our bags and check everywhere before getting on the bus. We then began driving to Suzhou. The drive took 1:30 minutes because we didn’t catch the traffic. If we had, it would have taken 2 to 2:30 hours. We then went to a mall to have lunch, but first because everyone except me and another girl hadn’t packed their jumpers on their backpacks, we went and got them all jumpers. Then we went up and had lunch. It was delicious, especially the dumplings. We then went to the Silk Factory/Museum instead of Tiger Hill and this water town because the rain was pouring quite heavily. The first thing we did was sit down in this information hall place, while our tour guide told us about the life of silk worms. They are born, then they eat for 5days, 5nights, then sleep for 8 hours, shed skin, then repeat for three more times. They eat mulberry leaves. Then they weave a cocoon, which they use to turn into a moth. Then the moth mates and has eggs before dying shortly afterwards. The workers find the cocoons, which they then find the starting thread and then hook it up to this machine, which makes reels of silk, each one made up of 8 cocoons. They then re-reel it, before stretching it to the desired length.

Then we went back to the hotel. We are staying in Grand Metropark Hotel, ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. We then found out our rooms before going up and staying up there until tea time. We went to a nice restaurant. There was dumplings, rice, some chicken, and for dessert, watermelon. Then we went back to the hotel after a very long day.

Day 4 – Georgia

We woke up at 7 so there was an hour before we went to breakfast. Then we went to the Met, and got onto line 8. We got off, and went to this road full of shops to care for pets. Then we heard them. Crickets! There were at least fifty of them. The Chinese like to do these cricket fighting competitions in Autumn. We had a walk around the Insect Market, and as we were exiting, we saw these adorable little hamster babies and rabbits and even squirrels. We then walked back to the met and then we caught line 8 again, as it’s the only way back. We then went to the Planning Museum. It was really hot while the teachers got our tickets. We went in, and the first thing we saw was a gold model of the taller towers in Shanghai. We then went up and looked at the first level, it was quite cool.  We then tried to look at the second level, but it was shut, so we went up to the third level. The first thing we saw was a giant wooden model of Shanghai! We spent around ten minutes looking at it. Then we went up to the next level. There was this thing about how much CO2 cars, buses, batteries and bicycles give out. It was over three kilometres, it took me 7:01 seconds and the bike only had 2grammes of CO2. The car was something like 248grammes.  Then we went back to the hotel.

 

Then we had fifteen minutes to relax in our hotel rooms before we went to the Dumplings place where we had tea on Friday for lunch. We then went to the park off People’s Square to eat. Chinese people were taking photos and laughing at how terrible some of us were using the chopsticks. We then went back to our rooms to pick up our backpacks and money because we were going to the Shanghai Science and Technology Market again. We started off on the other side than last time, so we had a look around there and bought some stuff. We then went to the other side and looked around that side and bought stuff. I have nearly finished my shopping. We then went back to the hotel and dropped all our stuff off. We had to wait before going out again. We then went to the mall for tea again and went to this cool place, where we chose our main, and then a side. My main was spicy, I didn’t read the sign correctly. My side was……… CHICKEN FEET!! They tasted so good! We also had rice, but it was a little spicy. Because of that, we went to Maccas to get a soft serve to cool our mouths down. We then exited the mall and we walked along East Nanjing Road. The lights were so bright! We then began walking back to the hotel, but we walked under the road. We were told not to do any washing, as we are going to Suzhou tomorrow.

 

Day 3 – Georgia

First we went to this park near People’s Square, and we saw these umberallas. We had to use the numbers to figure out what they were. We soon realised that they were DATING UMBERALLAS.  Then we had a look around the park. Then we got on the met and went one stop to East Nanjing Road, before transferring line to line 10. We went one stop on that line to Yuyuan Gardens. We then walked to this market and we had a look around. I bought some traditional Chinese clothing. We then had lunch before going through the Gardens, which were very nice. We saw some very large fish and we even saw some turtles. We then went back to hotel the same way we got there. Then, after a break, we went to this ginormous shopping mall, and we saw this really cool ice-rink. We then had a bit of time to look around, but no one bought anything, as it was very expensive. We then went back to the hotel before going to dinner. We went to this nice noodle place. I had plain noodles with soy sauce, which were quite yum. We then went back to the hotel to get ready for the cruise. When we left we travelled one stop on the met, then walked 300ks (not 300, probably 3).  On the cruise I got a position on the railing, so I had a very good view. The Pearl Tower looks amazing! We saw the Shanghai Tower, the worlds second largest building and the worlds highest observation deck. Then we went back to the hotel on the met, getting on at Yuyuan Gardens then going to East Nanjing Road, then transferring to line 2 and getting off at People’s Square.

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Day 2 – Georgia

Today Phoebe and I were up at 10 to 6 Shanghai time. We showered by 7 so we had another hour before brekkie. We just did Video Star videos and we just kept dancing to random songs. I did one to Livin’ on a Prayer, by Bon Jovi. I grabbed my hairbrush and was singing into it.

We went to the Pearl Tower and then we were getting hot so we went and sat under a tree. Zoe, Ebony and Phoebe were bottle-flipping, they landed 17 in the half hour. We then went up to the observation deck and that was boring, because there was no glass. Then we went down to the glass part, that was scary at first because I felt like the glass was going to break. Then I got used to it and was snapping shots of everything, from a cool roundabout, to the Shanghai Tower, which is really cool given that it is the tallest tower in Shanghai. We then went to the Jing’an Temple and we went under the metro station for lunch, we were meant to eat at this food court but it was shut for renovations so we had a choice, I hadn’t really tried any Chinese food so I had Maccas because there was nothing else really. I had an ice cream for dessert. Then the Bund group (Kennington, Big Hill and Golden Square) went and had a look around the temple. There was this really cool statue thing in the middle of this giant courtyard place and everyone had a 1 yuan coin to throw at the statue. If you got it in a particular area you could make a wish and it will come true. It took me a hundred goes, but eventually I got it in and my wish was to get a fan at a market. We then looked around the temple and we took loads of photos of photos. We then went back to the hotel and had a break before getting back on the metro to the Shanghai Science and Tech Museum/Market. I bought most of the presents I need to, there are so many cool shops there. After an hour and a half we went back to the hotel to drop the presents off before we went out for dinner. We went to this cool dumplings place and I had four dumplings, three pork and one prawn. We then got some drinks and went to this park. There were some groups of people dancing so we joined in. It was very fun. Then we went and got soft serve ice creams before going back to the hotel and washing our shirts before going to bed.

Day 1 – Georgia

We met at the QEO at 5:40 am so we could get on the road at 6. I sat next to Ebony and we just talked and played Crossy Road. The journey was 2 hours. At the airport Ebony, Zoe, Phoebe, Mr Freer and I got our bags first, so we were the first to find the Air China check-in place. We check our bags, then went to border security. Mr Freer and I were randomly pick to do an explosives search. We then got sent to the front of the line to X-ray our bags, but then had to go back to the check in place because Ebony’s passport didn’t scan/stamp properly. Then we went back to border Security and there were only us in the line. We didn’t have to stop until customs, which, as per normal, were a breeze. We then went to our gate, and then the teachers let us run wild with $20 to spend. We boarded at approximately 9:40. I was originally sitting 43A, but half an hour into the flight we got to move so I moved next to Ebony, which meant I was sitting in 44H. For lunch I had chicken and rice, but the chicken was a bit spicy. It had some pretty turbulent moments, but luckily I didn’t give in. I then played Flow Free on the iPad and then I played Video Star, I made seven videos. The flight was one of the most boring 10 hours of my life, because the screen in front of me wasn’t working.
In China we went through customs but we had to write on our arrival tickets first. We then collected our luggage, which was easy given I was the only one who had a suitcase like mine. We then went to find our driver and then we got on another bus and we drove for 40 minutes before reaching Park Hotel. We then got told what room number we’re in. Phoebe and I are sharing room 824, which is the 24th room on the 8th floor. We washed our shirts and socks and went to bed around 10:45 Shanghai time.