Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yangtze River Diary Day 9 Chongqing to Fengdu

Hello Wednesday! Let's go to China today and continue with Day 9 of our trip, see all posts here.

In the morning we were awaken by a Chinese tune that came from our bedside table. It was the sweetest sounding wake up call we ever heard! The first day on Yangtze River was off to a healthy start, pictured below were some passengers who participated in the short tai chi lesson. Against the backdrop of Chongqing skyscrapers, everyone followed the teacher's every step.
The loudspeaker announced breakfast was ready in the dining hall. We were anxious about the other guests but soon relaxed as we visited and ate a filling Chinese and Western meal buffet style. There were mostly North Americans at our table, but the ones seated at other tables were from all over the world: Belgium, Germany, England, Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Japan. Many, like us, were visiting China for the very first time.

Shortly after breakfast the ship left Chaotianmen Dock and floated downstream along the river. Various vessels of sorts remained anchored, there were cruise ships similar to ours as well as smaller tourist boats and container crafts.
We would not arrive in Fengdu until 2:30 PM so we remained on deck and enjoyed the view. It was a cloudy and hazy day in Chongqing, the camera had a difficult time focusing, but I managed to get some decent shots. We ventured into the rural region, below were white farm houses with dark roofs and windows against the luscious green, just like a Chinese painting. I was delighted to see this as I had hope to see the old ways of life on the Yangtze.
A close-up of the shore, a cultivated piece of land with vegetables at various growth stages amongst patches of banana trees. The houses looked bigger than anticipated, it seemed the farmers did well.
A close shot at one of the houses on the cliff, I was amazed at the brick work, the sideway bow tie design looked particularly pleasing.
Another picture of an interesting home, bunches of tall dried grass leaned against the lower level walls, it reminded me of a traditional Chinese farm cottage from my childhood.
The bright colors of this building came through the haze, the others around it were orange and white. I could not get enough of its round windows, such cute and cheerful architecture, this could be a school or community centre.
Not all residents of the Yangtze River lived in houses. The very long fishing vessel pictured below were equipped with satellite dish on the upper deck and kitchen facilities on the lower deck, this was a fully functioning work, eat and sleep boat.
Ship number 869 was loaded with tires, it was not as big nor shiny as other cargo ships. Anchored a short distance from the shore attached to another boat, we wondered if both loads were waiting to be transferred.
The shore was crowded with residential homes. On the bottom right hand corner, a small floating vessel with the red cylindrical top caught our eyes. Boats just like it lined the Yangtze, it was not until they light up at night that we realized they offered safe passage on our river journey.
Exhausted from the previous day's excitement, we returned to our cabin for a short nap. The bedside table played the sweet Chinese tune again, this time to let us know lunch was ready. More visiting and delicious food at the dining hall, plus extra time for photos on deck. We noticed several ships such as the one below, it seemed to pump silt from the river bed and dumped the residue back into the water.
One of several shipyards we came across that serviced ships right on shore against a backdrop of the metropolis. What puzzled me was how they got such a big boat on land, no machines were in sight. Hmmm.
Photographed below one of several factories along the shore that spewed noxious smoke into the air. Only meters away from residential homes and farmlands, this was a sad sight indeed.
We began to notice taller and taller buildings, the crane in the foreground was an indication of incomplete development. The blue sign by the water read Yangtze ship route, were we close to Fengdu?
Along the ship route, several locals waited for their transport, where were they going?
It was close to 2:30 PM, the staff gathered up everyone at the lobby. We were separated into groups and assigned tourist guides. Once attendance was taken we went off on smaller boats for our shore excursion. Photographed from the boat, below is our 4 star cruise ship named Three Kingdoms. Next week our China adventure continues!

3 comments:

  1. Another great post, with amazing photos, thank you, thank you.

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  2. I agree. It felt like I was floating there with you on that ship. Thanks for sharing the experience in such a detail.

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  3. P.K. and Minami: You are both most welcome! It's great to receive such appreciative and encouraging words. Thank you both.

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