I thought Maglev was the name of a place. I chose the Maglev train excursion because I love trains and ships and boats and any kind of ride oh, except Ferris wheels and roller coasters. Well, what a great train ride I had yesterday! Maglev is short for magnetic levitation and I just had the fastest land ride of my life, at 431 kilometres per hour. I travelled from the Shanghai station to the airport 8 miles away in 8 minutes. Beautiful. I could see the scenery out the windows because they're fitted with high-tech "decelerating glass" so that the landscape doesn't fizz by. This I know because we went into a small museum at the terminal before we returned to or bus and learned how the magic works. It begins with a brief history and the first passenger coaches moving at the speed of a horse's locomotion.
It's sort of like a hovercraft. The train rides about ten inches off its "track", no wheels involved, and ecologically friendly. The fare is nine US dollars, one-way. This is the longest and fastest passenger train on earth. It is hoped that this mode can be developed into a full public (low-cost) transportation system in China to accommodate its vast population.
It has warmed up a bit and I could have had my outdoor swim yesterday but I had to catch a train. But I pedalled. I've been using a recumbent bicycle in the gym for several days, reading a mystery as I pedal. Then I found the sauna. It's a steam bath, really, which I prefer, but my Finnish roommate calls it a wet sauna. I had to hurry so as not to miss the afternoon Trivial Pursuit game, followed by martinis with my team-mates. (We came in second.)
I'm busy. If I didn't get up early in the morning I wouldn't have time for my blog. But I intend to come up with a first draft of a synopsis and an outline for a new screen play. More sailing time like today should help. We're cruising the Yellow Sea, not due to arrive at Beijing until 11 a.m. tomorrow.