Noilly Prattle: A Royal Treat

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Royal Treat

Shanghai - view from hotel room
 news of Malaysian airline crash on Shanghai TV
     I can't remember when I've gone on the road in a time of more turmoil. The perpetual turmoil in the Middle East is flaring up--again. The civil war in Ukraine has led to a reckless attack on a civilian airliner which had no involvement in that war. 


unusually good lunch for airline fare on China Eastern
       Two days before you are scheduled to fly, the last thing you want to hear about is an airplane crash, much less an airplane shot down in proximity to the same Great Circle Route your fight path to Europe normally takes. This blog, however, is not meant to be a political rant, nor a lament for the deplorable state of a seemingly insane (in some quarters at least) world. No, it is intended to be a travelogue.

       Our travel this summer began on Sunday with a short fight via China Eastern Airlines to Shanghai. We were scheduled to fly to Shanghai on Monday and transfer the same day on the Paris flight, but the airline cancelled the flight to Shanghai and rescheduled it to the day before and offered to pay for overnight accommodation at a hotel near Pudong Airport in Shanghai. 

glass partition (with blind) to the bathroom
super relaxing
bathtub with a view

       This turned out to be a very good arrangement since the hotel, the Royal International Hotel, was both convenient and beautiful, had a pool and included breakfast and pick up service. Our first inclination was to take a transit train into downtown Shanghai to see how things had changed since the last time we were here six years ago. But, we also remembered the heat and humidity at this time of year and, especially after seeing the accommodation, to just relax, enjoy the hotel room and get some exercise in the indoor pool, have a drink at the bar and have a Chinese meal. 

enjoying a Martini . . . 
. . . and a Margarita


private dining room

Chinese [Cantonese style] to die for


hallway to private rooms


     When the temperature, but not the humidity, went down we took a stroll around the neighborhood after a delicious Chinese dinner in the hotel restaurant. The neighborhood was a considerable contrast to the sumptuousness of the hotel but we enjoyed walking around and soaking up the atmosphere--even said hello to some friendly people and bought some grapes to bring back to the hotel for a night snack. 

fruit market - bought some grapes

    Thus, we spent a very enjoyable, serene and calm day and put the cares of the world on the back burner. Didn't even worry about flying into (or over) the heart of darkness the following day.

dusk at the Royal

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