Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yangtze River Journal Day 9 Fengdu

This week went by too fast but.... there is still time to escape to China! We carry on with Day 9 along the Yangtze River, see all China posts here.

Our boat arrived at Fengdu harbor, where a flight of 200 steps greeted us. At the stairs I captured the view below, many ships were anchored which meant a lot of visitors had already arrived.
At the top of the stairs, our guide offered 2 choices to get to street level. An even longer flight of steps or cable car, which most preferred so this resulted in a long queue for tickets. Each ticket cost an extra 20 RMB, we all felt this should be included in the cruise. Getting on was interesting, there was no stopping which meant you stood in front of the seat and it scooped you up! Thankfully it moved slowly so two could share the same seat, below the scene of the Yangtze on the ride up.
We were soon surrounded by rich greenery on the slow and steady ride, the air felt cool and refreshing.
An opening amongst the trees revealed the other method to the top, some passengers took the steps and said it was a nice walk.
At the top of the hill, we waited in another queue for vehicles to the temple. Many tourists shops and some eateries lined the street. A typical food stand below, others nearby advertise similar noodles and dumplings menu. I did not see anyone eating, but the ingredients looked very fresh.
One of several fruit stalls, this one displayed pomelos, grapes, longans, oranges, bananas and coconut drinks. The Chinese character in the background said tea. As we strolled by, the man pointed at the dragon kites and yelled out his price.
The cars finally came and we arrived at one of the temples. Our guide spoke English with a thick Chinese accent, but to make matters worse, she spoke very fast. I could barely understand, she gave a brief history and pointed out the significance of the buildings, it all sounded like an interesting mess. She also walked quickly, I managed to take some pictures but made sure to follow her every step of the way. Below a view of one of the garden walkways at the temple, the dusty blue against the earthy red looked appealing, the red lanterns made lovely accents.
More red lanterns, this time in a row hung from the ceiling, they added a touch of festivity.
Off to the side of the walkway, more luxuriant foliage, Fengdu is rich with growth. Nestled amongst the trees the temple seemed very enchanting.
Some architectural details I noticed on the tour, golden brown roof tiles of similar shade as the ones at Forbidden City.
Our guide spoke even faster as there were lots more to see, we could no longer comprehend her. We passed through one of the prayer halls and David pointed up, the ceiling structure seemed very intricate.
A view of the roof through the window details, a delicate linear design.
Amongst the roofs, a shot of the distant hills. I am reminded of how peaceful this spot felt.
The guide took us to the back of the temple grounds, some bolder colors appeared on the walls. Pictured below, the stack of brightly colored umbrellas for sale became instant companions with the moon shaped doorway.
Down a long flight of steps, earth tone red contrasted with mustard yellow, a delightful combination of colors.
All kinds of fascinating colors entertained our eyes but our favorite was the brilliant blue below, it just suited the prolific growth around it. I walked up and down and took several shots before the guide ushered us on. We began our way back to the ship, I am thankful our guide kept the group together, the place was like a labyrinth we would be hopelessly lost without her!
Back on street level, a long wait for the vehicles to return to the cable cars. We were finally allowed to browse the tourist shops but were relieved to see the ride, everyone was tired and hungry.
A last look at Fengdu, some shops were already closed, we were one of the last ships to leave. Back on the boat, dinner was good with more visiting. A cabaret followed, the girls dressed up in Spanish and Chinese costumes and danced for us. The security guard who ensured only passengers board the ship sang a lovely song in Mandarin, there was even a draw for a prize. The staff performed from the bottom of their hearts, we enjoyed the show very much, music went on and stopped around 11 PM.

The ship continued to sail throughout the night while we slept soundly, a much needed rest for another busy day ahead. The China journey continues next week!

1 comment:

  1. I like the banners in the last photo. Thank you for another beautiful post.