I’ve always loved to travel. I go somewhere interesting every chance I get. My first few years were spent living in a cab over camper while my dad worked contract jobs all over the US.
I guess it got in my blood then and it’s not going away. 😉
I’ve since been all over the US and lots of places around the world, but there are still so many places I want to go.
I was always interested in China. I loved the idea of a cruise up the Yangtze River. I wanted to do it before they built the Three Gorges Dam and it wouldn’t be possible (the same way) any more.
I signed up for a trip with Go Ahead Tours and was so glad I did. I actually got a late start joining the group due to screwed up flights. I got to Shanghai before the group left, but I missed a few of the attractions like the Bund.
We went to a school for music and the arts (which they take seriously over there). I liked seeing how all the kids were studying so hard. We went to see a performance of dancing and acrobats that was pretty amazing. We went to visit the Yuyuan Garden (Garden of Happiness), Suzhou and took a cruise on the Grand Canal.
We were all looking forward to joining our ship. It was beautiful. A long, lean riverboat, purposely made for cruising and passenger comfort. I had a single room and it was very comfortable, with nice big windows. There was plenty of space onboard to chill out, in the lounge or on the upper deck (where I was allowed to smoke).
The food was pretty good and the chef would do demonstrations of how to cut up fruits and vegetables for decorations or how to make egg rolls, etc. At night the crew would put on shows. Traditional dances in local costumes or plays re-enacting Chinese stories. Our tour group sometimes took part too, creating poems, singing or performing skits.
We stopped along the way to sightsee in Nanjing, Wuhan, and a temple along the way before we got to the Three Gorges Dam. We went through the locks there. WOW! What an amazing engineering project that was!
I was glad to have the experience of sailing up the river before the dam was completed. It won’t be the same now, even as we were sailing up the river the Chinese were busy demolishing towns and cities along the river.
I thought it was sad that the people had to tear down their homes, businesses, and lives. They had to carry away everything so it wouldn’t get sucked down the river in future and clog up the works at the dam.
We passed through the Three Gorges and then transferred to small boats for an excursion up the Lesser Three Gorges. I really enjoyed this, it was like looking into the past. The local people working their fields, doing laundry along the streams, children playing. 🙂
When we got to Chungking, we saw the Flying Tigers Museum, where I learned more about the American involvement in China during WWII. We saw a little bit more of the city, markets, etc. It was pretty cool.
We left our ship in Chungking and flew off to see the terra cotta warriors in Wuhan. On to Beijing and home. The Yangtze cruise was the best part of the trip. There is so much history and Chinese culture tied to that river. It’s the best part of China. I recommend it to anyone. 🙂