Three groups of eager journey seekers left separately from the USA, enroute to China to begin our soon to be shared journey. Ellen & Gerald, patent attorneys, and Patricia (Trish) & Joe, petroleum engineers, from the Houston area, Judy and Marion, interior designers, from the New Orleans area, and Robert and I¡ co-owners of Silk Road Collection from New Orleans. Destination - Shanghai, China.
After 20 to 25 hours in journey, each group arrived safely in Shanghai - a little blurry-eyed and tired from sitting but still eager for adventures and experiences. To our good fortune, we learned that the week of our arrival in China was both the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China and Autumn Festival time; eight days of holiday and time off from work for many office and government workers.
While this meant less work related traffic, it also meant more family and local sightseeing traffic and large crowds at most museums and tourists spots. Therefore, in Shanghai, a city of about 19 million people, we probably saw or meet 15 million Chinese travelers. In actual numbers, it is estimated that over 228 million Chinese traveled during this time. Keep in mind that the entire population of the US is about 360 million and China's population is about 1.4 billion.
Joe, Trish, Ellen, and Gerald arrived during Sunday afternoon, which afforded them time to walk around the area of the hotel and take in some of the sights and sounds of the festivities. Sunday evening, Donald & Robert and Marion & Judy arrived at the hotel within 1 minute of each other-due to great planning.
Our group, now together, met for dinner and drinks, then off to bed to outsmart jetlag and to prepare for the full day of touring on Monday morning.
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