Chongqing photos posted

I’ve posted my pictures of our brief day in Chongqing, China. It was not a very pleasant day for us, but the photos do not reflect our aches and pains:

We have found the least pleasant days during our trip have been the travel days, not unexpectedly. We woke up relatively early in the morning and were driven to the Xian airport, which takes an hour. Then we go through the usual processes of checking in, going through the security check, waiting for our flight, crowd onto the airplane, etc. The flight from Xian to Chongqing was mercifully brief and we were met by our guide and driver at the Chongqing airport all before noon.

And that was the problem. We could not board the cruise boat for our Yangtze River cruise until 5PM. So, we were scheduled to have a tour of Chongqing. In theory, not a bad idea. It was the practice that was the problem. Chongqing is one of the four largest cities in China. So large (33 million) that like Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin it is administered just as if it was its own province. Chongqing sits at the confluence of the Yangtze River and a major tributary, the Jialing River. The Yangtze cut a tortuous path though mountainous terrain. Thus, Chongqing is built on the sides of steep hills. No imagine yourself being driven from point to point all over such a city in the back seat of a minivan through heavy, stop-and-go traffic at wildly varying speeds. We were so beat up in the process that we cut the itinerary short.

The first stop was the Chongqing zoo to see the pandas. I had not done my homework. I vaguely recalled that there was a center of research on pandas in this area of China and assumed that this is what we were going to see. But the research center is in Chengdu, China. At some point, the authorities shipped about a half dozen pandas from Chengdu to the zoo in Chongqing.  So, if you have been to the National Zoo in Washington, DC, there is no real reason to see the pandas in Chongqing.

The highlight of the day was a guild hall, a center of commerce in ancient times. Even I succumbed to buying a piece of jade, about 100 years old, carved with the image of a scholar. Another suprise was the General Stillwell Museum. The museum sits high on the hill above Chongqing and celebrates General Stillwell who managed the delicate alliance between the US and two Chinese factions (the Nationalists and the Communists) in fighting the Japanese during WWII. The museum is housed in the building that was used as Stillwell’s headquarters during the war.

Mercifully, the day ended with our being installed in a luxury stateroom of the President 1 for our cruise down the Yangtze. We were beat and crawled into bed early. The next dawn brought the start of a much more enjoyable day. More later.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: