Here are some pictures of my first big trip around China. Well, the first one that I was completely free and without any Chinese speaking people. We decided to head up to the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang in Chinese). Overall, it was a good trip.
Here are four of the six of us that went. On the train there, we were split between two parts of the train. In our soft sleeper, we had a very friendly Chinese man (on the right). He spoke no English, but we had fun trying to communicate. We actually ended up playing cards with him for a couple hours. The security guard on the left decided to join in with the cards. It was quite fun. We were sad when our compatment mate had to get off the train and we think he was too, but I also think he thought we were crazy cause we kept laughing.
Above and below are two pictures of the scenery we saw.
The following 6 pictures are from Chongqing, where we were for National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival. They aren't usually on the same day, but were this year.
Above is the hords of people wandering the streets. This is the reason many people here warned us not to travel - everyone is traveling on this week. We found it quite fun, even though it was crowded. The girl on the bottom right is showing a typical expression we get when walking around in China. Many people stare at us.
A temple in Chongqing where many people are lighting candles and incense.
I was overjoyed that they know all about Roswell here in China....
This is the strangest advertisement I have seen in a long time. Click on the picture to go to their site. They sell toilets and shower tubs etc. Thank you Ying Long for telling me about this company.
I thought he was cute. These kind of dogs are all over China. At least down South, I have seen many of them. Don't worry, these aren't the kinds that they eat, they have a special breed for that....
And, now for the Yangtze River....
Here is the boat we spent about 77 hours on.
I'm glad we didn't end up on a boat like this. We were the only foreigners on our boat, which was fun. We saw many other boats full of English speakers, but we didn't think it would have been as much fun on one of those boats.
The first night we were on the boat was the Mid-Autumn Festival (also called the Moon Festival). It is the first full moon of autumn. They have a tradition of eating moon cakes, which are dense cakes with an entire egg in each one, usually not mixed in so you can see it. They aren't very good. Everyone gives them as presents, but I think people just pass the sames ones around as new presents as they receive them.
It happened nicely that we passed through the first Gorge on the second night, while the moon was still full. So, we saw the first gorge for about an hour a little after midnight. It was spectacular. Sorry, no pictures turned out, I guess you'll just have to come visit me to see it....
The next four pictures are before we got to the Three Gorges.
Many people on the boat, including me, enjoyed sitting or standing on the deck watching the scenery pass by. Incredibly relaxing.
Just to prove that I was actually there....
When I got home, another friend here had bought a book on the Yangtze River on her travels. Well, I was looking at the book and the cover seemed really familiar. Then, I realized it was because the picture on the front was almost exactly this picture.
Here are the six of us that were traveling together. From left to right is: Steven, Elna, me, Hanna, Nathaniel, and Andrea.
I learned the word in Chinese for waterfall because of this one. I saw it and pointed at it then quickly heard a Chinese woman telling her friends: "pu bu, pu bu, pu bu." Chinese have a tendancy to repeat words many times.
Elna and I found a friend on the boat. She was fun and really fascinated with my binoculars and sunglasses, so I let her use them for a while.
The next four pictures show the beauty of the Gorges the best. We were also lucky to see a sunset over the gorges as we were leaving the third one.
The next two pictures are of the well known dam that is going to flood all the pretty area you just saw. Very interesting to an engineer such as myself.
I actually disagree with the building of this project. I costs an incredible amount of money, could be done with several smaller dams, is ruining a lot of archaelogical artifacts along the Yangtze River, and still has the possibility of getting clogged in ten years. It was impressive to see, but I don't think it should be built.
This is in the city where we got off, Wuhan. This is the only picture I got since my batteries were dead and I couldn't take any more pictures. I took too many on the river. You can see here the European and Russian influence on the right side of the street buildings. It's on the river, so many people have influenced it's development over the years.
Here is my experiment in photography to show you the depth of the mountains and hills of what I saw. To make this work, you have to go slightly cross-eyed. If you have ever looked at a magic eye picture, this will be easy for you. Keep looking at the computer screen and hold one finger inbetween your eye and the screen. You should see two of them (this is called parilux). Now, do this same thing with the pictures below. When the two images split, line up the two inside ones so it makes one image. If you do this correctly, you will see a 3D image much like what I saw. On the first one, I find it easiest to line up the boat first and then look around the rest of the picture. Good luck and don't look at them too long - you'll end up with a headache....
This works the same way your eyes do in everyday life. These pictures were taken in rapid succession while floating down the river. When your eyes see the two images on top of each other, it can figure out that something is further away than another object since it has moved farther. Things near you will move farther downstream and things far away will apear to have not moved. I took about 10 picture sets like this, but only got 2 to work well. It shows you more what I saw.
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