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Travels: Shanghai Sheshan. China

View from Sheshan (Nikon D300, 12-24mm f4) Was planning to go to hangzhou this weekend but its impossible to get a train ticket nor hotel room next to the lake so sod it, this saturday will be a shanghai trip. And I went through my mind thinking where in shanghai I always wanted to hike to but never had the time,and Sheshan comes up.

Sheshan Basilica (Nikon D300, 12-24mm f4)

Sheshan is a place where it seems only people on company team building trip goes to and stay in one of the 5 star resorts. In fact that was the only time I went there and I did notice there is a metro line that goes there, not too bad. Did see a cathedral object top of a hill as well and a little wikipedia research tells me this is the only real hill in shanghai. 

Sheshan Basilica on top of the hill (Leica M3, 50mm f1.5 Summarit, Lucky SHD100)

Ok I confess. The reason for the trek today is to test out my new configurations before my holiday in November. For one, updated my blogging phone from Nokia E61 to the new and very nice E71. The phone is a lot smaller and easier to carry but nothing is free, the keyboard is very small now. But the predictive text seems to be making up for it. My pack is also heavy as I have packed a D300 and Mamiya RZ67 and a new hiking tripod, the 1541T from gitzo. Plenty of heavy gears I can assure you!

Shanghai traffic (Leica M3, 50mm f1.5 Summarit, Kodak 125PX)

Ok first thing first. How to get to Sheshan? Grabbing metro line 1 to Xujiahui station and switching to line 9 west. Simple enough. And I seem to be the only guy in Shanghai walking with a backpack and shorts. Its autumn now and temperature is around low 20s but the sun is out in full force. Hence shorts and camouflaged boonie and a healthy dose of UVA sunblock. I now smell like perfumed sunblock lotion.

Ok. At Xujiahui right now and I can tell you there is no line 9 here. Looking at the map, line 9 now starts at an intersect to line 3/4. Xujiahui interchange is in the plans it seems but not yet, probably sometime in the future. Now going to shanghai indoor stadium and will switch to line 3/4. Get off then at Yishan road. And switch to line 9 and get off at Sheshan. phew! But apparently it is not that easy. Yishan road station to line 9 requires that I take a free shuttle bus to Guilin road station, about 1 station away. The connection has not been completed yet hence the bus. I'm at the Guilin road station now and it looks like this will bring me directly to Sheshan. We shall see.

Sheshan Metro Line 9 Station (Leica M3, 50mm f1.5 Summarit, Kodak 125PX)

At the shanghai sculpture park. Like any parks with any tacky sculptures in china, this one costs money to get in. Adult tickets cost 80 rmb but I don't bother.

1432hrs: finally walked all the way from the metro station to the entrance of Sheshan. The cathedral is in full view from the entrance but looks like it will be a walk up the mountain or hill. A nice 30 minute walk up the hill at a minimum. They do charge for entrance fee, which like I have mentioned a lot of times seems to be a favourite pastime of the local government here in china. less blogging and more time spent moving. Check back here once I get to the top.

Sheshan Basilica Exterior (Leica M3, 50mm f1.5 Summarit, Kodak 125PX)

1517hrs: got to confess. Got up here some time ago. The church is small on the inside. Definitely not looking anywhere like a basilica like what the call it. Not even a mini basilica. Considering not many chinese are christians, its understandable there is a tv inside and a section condoned off for visitors to watch some catholic propaganda completed with the white guy with long hair and clean shaven. What you do have a lot of up this hill are wedding photographers. You can tell by their large reflectors. Although they don't seem to be reflecting anything sometimes. Anyway, have not taken out my dslr and medium format yet. Nothing worth shooting yet. Did go into my second roll of film on the leica m3 though. First time with a Kodak 125PX.

Sheshan Basilica Interior (Leica M3, 50mm f1.5 Summarit, Kodak 125PX)

1548hrs: On my way down the hill when I saw the entrance to the observatory. Nah! Took a couple of photos of the view off the hill and its time to walk the steps down. There is a disuse cable car station with the cables dismantled but very clearly not hiding what it used to be. I guess I have seen my share of cable car stations to be able to tell. Its 4pm and the sun is starting to set here! Time to make it back to pudong for an evening photo shoot.

Group shoot outside Basilica (Leica M3, 50mm f1.5 Summarit, Kodak 125PX)

1414hrs: got into a taxi and instead of going to Sheshan station the driver recommended to go to Dongjing station instead since it was closer. And its true. Could have saved up to 30 minutes walking time to the hill by using this station in the future. Dongjing (no doesn't spell like Tokyo unfortunately) is 9 stops from the start Guilin Road station and 1 after Sheshan.

Craptastic timing. Looks like there is no way I can get back to Shanghai in time for the twilight light show. Looks like I man have to settle for night shots with the Mamiya. Line 9 trains are not really that common. Must have been at least a 15 minutes wait for a train!

But one revelation about this place is the potential for landscape pictures with plenty of yellow flowers. Would have been a great place to come with a large format camera. I have not found a nice perch for that yet but I believe the potential is definitely there. Good reason to return to this place for sure.

Chairs  (Leica M3, 50mm f1.5 Summarit, Kodak 125PX)

Tried to grab the taxi straight to the ferry station in fuxing road but since it is already getting dark I will postpone this to tomorrow morning. Then this will be the end of today trip. Will be going back home now tired after walking a few km.