Saturday, 15 August 2015

Asian Adventure - Yangtze River Cruise - Day 1

We slept very well, and when we woke we were docked at the Tourist Platform for Fengdu the 'City of Ghosts'. Breakfast was a smorgasbord and was very tasty. 

It seemed as though most of the Chinese aboard went on the tour, but all of us Europeans stayed behind, and were given a lecture on the River and the 3 Gorges by Angela. 

The next lecture was supposed to be one on Chinese medicine, but the doctor didn't speak any English, and with us sitting up the front it quickly deteriorated into a few of us reading the English translation of his notes, and having more chats with children. The parents spend a lot of money getting private tutoring in English, and so are very keen for their children to talk to Westerners and practice, but some haven't learnt enough (even after 3 years of study) for just casual conversation. 

We were travelling downstream at around 22 km/hr. 1/3 of the whole population of China lives along the Yangtze. Lunch was another smorgasbord, with some very tasty dishes. 

After lunch we sat in the Lounge watching the riverbank go past as we had started back downstream, passing other cruise ships, freighters, and cities. 

At 3:30pm there was the Captain's Welcome Reception, with little snacks and Champagne. 

This was followed at 4:30 by our shore excursion to ShiBaoZhai to visit the Red Pagoda, built in 1736. It is a little island, created by the 3 gorges dam, and it surrounded by it's own dam to preserve it from the rising waters. There were a lot of steps up from the ship to the township, where we were hounded by vendors trying to sell their wares, but managed to get through and over the rickety swing bridge to the tower. 

Click to play video (1min 57sec)

I was pretty hot so opted not to go up, but Darryl, Bob and Joanne went, while I tried to find a cool spot to wait. 

Dinner at 7pm was a buffet for us, but the others had a la carte. We had been talking to Jack who is the company chef and is on-board for training, assessment & audit purposes, so he has been helping Lee to enjoy her stay. Our chef is Long Dragon. 

After dinner we were entertained by The Chinese Dynasties Show, where staff dressed in Chinese Costumes from the various dynasties, and minorities, then some modern fashions.

Click to play slideshow (1min 3sec)

Click to play Video (5min 35sec)

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