The lobby of our hotel had a crystal eagle to celebrate the 70th anniversary.
We had been dropped off by our guide with plans to meet the next day, so we settled in our room and then decided to leave the hotel to head to the "Bund" which was just across the street. The Bund is the walkway along the river and we were told there was a light show every hour on the hour. Unbeknownst to us, we were going the wrong way as we left the hotel and could not cross the street which was just in front of our hotel. You can see the light show in the distance and we were going counter traffic. You cannot see that there were many police and some military blocking crosswalks and directing people around. We had to walk about 4 blocks our of our way, take a left for 3 blocks, go down another half mile and eventually follow the crowd. We did finally get across the street!
The people were mostly families or millennials with sometimes a grandparent or two which they protected. Everyone was calm and polite even though we were crammed into small spaces. They all politely took their photos and then left space for those of us in the back to get our pictures.
When we were done and realized we had better get some sleep before our morning walk of the city, we started to head back. To our surprise guards blocked every single shortcut we wanted to take. We reached the street to the side of our hotel after getting lost and saved by a young Chinese lady with her phone map, and we still were not allowed to cross directly into the front door of the hotel! I took a chance arguing with one of the policemen and showing him my hotel key card, but he refused to budge. He looked all of nineteen, as did most of them. There were lines of young men standing just a few feet apart insuring that we still had to walk another two blocks to wend our way finally back to our hotel. I saw other elderly Chinese ladies giving the police a piece of their mind as well. I did not take photos of the guards as that is frowned upon.
We finally made it to our side and were so glad to get back into the hotel. During the whole experience, jet-lagged and disoriented, I truly felt very safe. We later learned by our guide that these strict walking patterns had been put in place two years ago due to a crowd rush that killed 100 people!! So much for my naive view of crowd safety.