10/4/2007 to 10/8/2007 (after one night stay in Wuhan 10/3/2007)

We enjoyed a fabulous Yangtze River cruise of four nights and three days traveling upstream east to west for 400 miles. The scenery was poetic as we sailed through gorges hugged by jagged, towering cliffs and rolling gray-shadowed hills. We were able to gain a glimpse into an ancient China that is rapidly disappearing.

The Yangtze, which means "long river," is the third longest river in the world, behind the #1 Nile and the #2 Amazon.

Our boat, the Victoria Queen, was so welcoming with its exquisite meals and ultra-attentive staff. We all had outside rooms, each with a balcony and two chairs. There were many presentations offered daily and we took Chinese 101 and Chinese herbal medicine!

Best was the beautiful scenery and history outside, and we spent most of our time on the upper bow deck enjoying the view and taking pictures. The crew did a great job narrating information and stories about where we were.

We visited the Three Gorges Dam Site (the damming of the Yangtze) which is the largest hydroelectricity project in the world and will supply 10% of China’s power when completed in 2009. Already the reservoir is flooding many of the ancient villages and over a million people have been or are being relocated to "new" cities many hundreds of feet up. The project is quite controverial environmentally, historically, and politically.

From the Dam Site we traveled the 41-mile Xiling Gorge, with cliffs of up to 4,000 feet, the dramatic 25-mile Wu Gorge where you will see the sunrise picture above, the Lesser Three Gorges, and the westernmost 5-mile Qatang Gorge.

At the Lesser Three Gorges, we enjoyed taking a small ferry on a tributary of the Yangtze, the Daning River, and then transferring to a small sampan where we saw the monkeys playing on the sides and the petrified hanging coffins suspended from the cliffs. We were filled with the tranquility of the clear jade waters.

We also visited the ghost city of Fengdu, where we rode a cable car up to view its temple, pavillions, and murals depicting afterlife in the underworld, and where Bill found many photo ops.

At the beginning of the photo set above are a few pictures in Wuhan (pop. 9 million+) where we stayed enroute to the cruise. Some are at the Rock and Bonsai Museum, some are in or near the hotel.

We disembarked in Chongqing and at the end of the set you will see one of several adorable pandas at the Chongqing Zoo.


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