Month: June 2018

Surprise visit!

Surprise visit!

I just got back from a Germany trip this morning at 7 am. Why I thought it would be a good idea to fly all night and then go straight to the office I will never know 😉 But it was definitely worth it!

The visit was to surprise my sisters who celebrated their birthdays together last weekend. I managed to plan a visit almost 2 months ago and to keep it a secret until I arrived … which was pretty hard! To sum it up, they were definitely very surprised when I showed up 🙂 We were very busy having fun but manged to take one slightly blurry picture together.

Besides the birthday party I also met up with friends and old coworkers and we invited both my grandparents over for a barbecue – they didn’t know I was visiting either :). Last Monday was Dragon Boat Festival so I used the chance to hang out with my mom all day, eat ice cream and stock up on summer clothes – today it was 35 degrees in Shanghai.

Also on the agenda: Butterbrezel, Maultaschen, Käsespätzle, Hefezopf, Pizza from my favorite place and berries and cherries fresh from the garden 🙂 The weather was great too, I got a good fix of blue skies, sunshine and fresh air.

Time went by so quickly and now I feel even less ready for Shanghai summer. Especially not for this getting dark at 7 thing. I guess it’s good I’m going back again for business trip in a couple of weeks!

Moganshan: Bamboo, bamboo and more bamboo

Moganshan: Bamboo, bamboo and more bamboo

Last weekend it was outing time! Our company here gives each employee a budget and an extra day off to go on a trip, aka the outing, with coworkers. Thorben’s department always does something pretty fancy:  Japan last year and Vietnam this year – I’m still bugging him to finish his blog post. My department wanted to take it a bit easier so we stayed in China. Our destination was Moganshan, which is a 3-hour drive from Shanghai.

Moganshan or Mount Mogan is both the name of the mountain and the village we spent 2 1/2 days in. Our hotel was located on the edge of the town and – as everything in this area – was surrounded by bamboo. Besides lunch and dinner we didn’t have any planned group activities. The weekend can be summed up in a few words: Relaxing, reading, hiking and eating. Many of my coworkers brought their spouses and kid(s), so you could also call it “31 Chinese and Marina in a bamboo forest.” 🙂

On Saturday and Sunday we got quite a bit of rain, so when I ventured outside the air was pretty misty. I joined some colleagues on a little hike to a waterfall on Saturday and then on a bigger one through the bamboo forest and up the hill for some good views on Sunday. Sadly, just because there is bamboo doesn’t mean there are pandas. They prefer a different he climate, so I’ll have to wait a bit longer to see some.

Monday morning we had beautiful weather but unfortunately our bus already picked us up at 10:30am. I took advantage of the sunshine for as long as I could and took lots of pictures. If anyone asks, that’s what Moganshan looked like the entire time 🙂

Overall, it was a very relaxing weekend (especially after all the kids returned to Shanghai Sunday after lunch 🙂 ) in beautiful surroundings.

Shanghai Sights: Jing’An Temple

Shanghai Sights: Jing’An Temple

Jing’An Temple is a big golden Buddhist temple and the place our district is named after. It is our closest metro stop and the actual temple is a short walk away. We’ve driven past it many many times on our way to work and seen the outside lots of times. Still, it took me almost a year to finally go inside.

The first time I went was at the end of April when a colleague from Germany was in town.

… and I went again with my dad last weekend, so I thought it’s time to finally make a post about “our” temple.

Fun facts

The shrine at the entrance is really tall and people try to throw coins into it for good luck. Dad made it on the first (okay, it was really the fourth) try 🙂

Jing’An Temple was first built almost 2000 years ago, relocated to where it is now over 800 years ago but then used as a plastic factory during the cultural revolution. In the 1980s it was turned into a temple again and then got renovated in 2010, so that’s why it looks very shiny and new.

Shanghai Sights: M50

Shanghai Sights: M50

This morning we said good-bye to our second visitors: my parents. They only stayed with us for a few days after their 2-week tour through China but we tried to squeeze in some sightseeing in addition to the dumpling eating 🙂 There were also some spots on the list I hadn’t been to before, so this will be the start of a few posts about the Shanghai sights we saw. Up first: M50.

On Saturday we headed to M50, an art district named after its address 50 Moganshan Road. It consists of many little galleries/studios you can visit with different types of art. Paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, pottery, jewelry … there is lots to see.

In one store we encountered a rather pushy artist trying to sell us every piece in the space but mostly, you can just wander around and look. While I’m not very into art/ don’t know much about it, I think M50 is a cool place to spend a couple hours exploring.