Sunday 13th March
Today has been another getting there day. We left Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport on a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 777 – 300 extended range, which means it can fly the Pacific with ease. This 10 hour flight was necessary because of the cancellation of the container ship.
The railway journeys from Britain to Shanghai could not have been possible without the help and organisation, including that of obtaining visas, of the services of ‘Real Russia’ in London.
The strange thing about today is that, on the same day, we arrived in San Francisco at 09:30 before the departure time of 14:25!!!! All of this was possible because we crossed the International Date Line.
International Date Line
So far on our trip we have been in front or ahead of Britain in time. This is because time in any place in the world is worked out from the time in London. So as the world rotates eastwards it means that places to the east of London start their day before Britain does. As the world is round a complete rotation of the earth is 360 degrees and takes place in 24 hours. So 360 divided by 24 gives 15 degrees and therefore one hour of time. So a place 30 degrees east is 2 hours in front of London (GMT) and a place 75 degrees west is 5 hours behind.
Today we went back in time because we crossed the International Date Line which is 180 degrees (half way) east and west depending upon which way you travel. To even things up we crossed the line and stayed on the same day but now become behind Britain in time. A further complication is that California has entered Daylight Saving Time so we actually arrived one hour early! All this will even up when Britain enters Summer Time at the end of March. If we had been travelling west we would have reached the International Date Line on Sunday and crossed into Monday.
We are in a hotel in the Fisherman’s Wharf District and right next to a cable car turnaround. and at the ‘select’ end. We are next to the Bay and at the foot of a very steep hill. It is currently raining heavily and we have not seen the city at its best.