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Melbourne Football Club

The China Diaries - Day 7

It was a relaxed start to the day, with the morning free for the travelling party.

At midday, all came together again for the Shanghai City Tour, which was a trip to Yu Gardens for barter shopping.

The crowds were akin to Chadstone Shopping Centre, in Melbourne’s south-east suburbs, only it wasn’t the all-night Christmas shopping!

The water under the bridge walkway through the Gardens featured plenty of fish in the pond, which resulted in the happy-snapping group capturing the moment.

The shopping lasted for three hours before many of the group came around with various nick-nacks.

As the players trained at Jiangwan Stadium, the rest of the travellers headed to the Asian Champs grand final.

The only problem was that the ride to the Shanghai Rugby Football Club became a bit like the scene out of ‘National Lampoon’s European Vacation’, when Clark Griswald kept telling his kids: ‘Look kids, there’s Big Ben’, after he wasn’t able to negotiate his way out of a roundabout and kept driving around the same route.

In this case, there were a few double backs and passing of the ground.

After missing the first half, the group finally arrived to witness United Arab Emirates Heat defeat Singapore Wombats for the Asian Champs.

The standard was far better than expected, yet the teams comprised of mostly of expatriates. In fact, UAE featured former Magpie and Swan Andrew Schauble.

The footy was hard-at-it and willing - and entertaining.

And the sidelines of the beautifully grassed area - albeit in a wasteland-like area - had a genuine footy feel, with pies, and VB flowing freely.

Following the match, all those from the club headed back to the hotel.

It was a free evening for the group, with many having a quiet drink on Level 66 of the hotel, where the views of the city were stunning.

Later on, many of the crew headed to Bar Rouge, which is renowned for its outdoor rooftop and spectacular Bund views.

A top night was had by those who went - and plenty of dance moves were also on show!