The next day was a mishmash of fun. We started out exploring a multi-floor food mall for breakfast and then took in the fascinating history of Shanghai's rapid growth and projected future at the Urban Planning Exhibition Hall. Then I dragged Matt, not quite kicking and screaming, to my heaven on earth: a cat cafe called "Cat Eyes," where ten kitties live harmoniously in an apartment converted into a small coffee shop. My dutiful husband only rolled his eyes slightly when I promptly ordered a can of ridiculously priced wet food off of the menu and proceeded to get swarmed by the majority of the feline residents. Since there are at least ten cat cafés in Shanghai, I consider this to be an essential experience to truly understanding the local culture.
Next we hopped on the subway line headed under the city-bisecting Huangpu River and surfaced in the Pudong, where the famous skyscrapers reside. With a decently clear evening, we longed for the 100th floor observation deck perspective of the city but balked at the $25 per person admission. At the suggestion of our trusty Lonely Planet guidebook, we instead opted for three separate elevator rides to reach the Cloud 9 bar on the 88th floor of the Grand Hyatt. Here, we got to enjoy sunset over the city with mere $10 mediocre cocktails in hand (and complimentary spicy peanuts!). While we'll never know for sure if the view was that much better twelve floors higher, our perch above Shanghai seemed sufficiently mesmerizing to us.
Since I do have a sick affinity for tourist gimmicks, I somehow also convinced Matt that we needed to ride through the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel to get back to the Bund side of the river. So that, should you ever travel to Shanghai, you do not need waste your own hard-earned money on the bizarreness of it all, we have included a video here for your viewing pleasure.
Similar to Beijing, we felt that it would take weeks to thoroughly explore Shanghai. After all, it is the world's largest city! Yet that was not to be, as we were zooming north on a bullet train the next morning. Back in our Beijing apartment, we hunkered down for a couple of days of errands, organizing, and the dreaded complete final pack of our bicycle panniers. Of course, all this meant that the launch of our open-ended cycle tour was eminent...yikes!