Another highlight of our trip was about to begin ... our Yangtze River cruise. Five days sailing the Yangtze from Wuhan to Chongqing, a distance of about 700 miles. During this time we'd see many wonderful things including the Three Gorges and the Lesser Three Gorges of the DaNing River. We'd also stop and visit the Three Gorges Dam site and Wanxian, a city soon to be submerged by the rising Yangtze. This was one of the primary reasons for our trip, our desire to enjoy the scenery of the Yangtze's Three Gorges before it is flooded in 2003 and, I'm afraid, changed forever.

I have to admit being on board the boat took some getting used to. The prior week in Beijing and Shanghai were nonstop activity from morning to night. Here on the boat the pace was much slower and more relaxed. We could sleep in if we wanted and rarely was there a rush to go anywhere. An enjoyable alternative to the rush of daily sightseeing ... we stayed in the same place and the scenery came to us!

Floodlit gangway to a cruise ship

Arriving at the dock we were impressed at how pretty it was with the gangways to the ships all floodlit. I've come to the conclusion that blue/purple is their favorite color for floodlighting large structures at night.

A band met us as we boarded the
Regal China Cruise ship

Wuhan from the ship, John's photo

Ship docked at pier

Carol measuring
the width of the

Anne trying to figure out how the
cabin's heater worked ...
I'm not sure she was successful!
Our ship, the Regal China Cruise Line's Princess Elaine, was quite nice. The cabins, as advertised, were not very large, but they were comfortable and spacious enough for us to relax and unwind in. With the lights of Wuhan fading in the distance we quickly settled into our rooms for a good night's rest, that is, after a stop at the bar to unwind for a few minutes.

The map at the top left shows the route of the cruise along the Yangtze from Wuhan to Chongqing. The lower map shows the sights along the Three Gorges. Our first night and the next day we'd be just cruising along the Yangtze with not much to see. That was good because it gave us time to acquaint ourselves with the boat and also to relax.

That first day was actually a wasted day. The terrain wasn't much to look at. Mostly flat with various crops planted near the river's edge. Occasionally we'd see a Water Buffalo, but the pictures were useless because the weather was so bad. There was alight drizzle and a very heavy fog for most of the day. We did, however, become familiar with the various types of boats and barges we'd see along the Yangtze.

John strolling around the deck

A tug with a barge
in tow

I believe this was some type of
fueling barge

Another scene with a horse, a cow and a man.
Can you spot them? The cow is standing in
front of the tree in the center.
We did spot this one Water Buffalo pulling
a plow with a man following. To bad it's so
foggy, but the picture does have a mood to it.
While strolling around the deck I ran into an Englishman (right) who had a large format camera. I watched as he set the camera up taking aim at something on the river's bank. I know how I felt lugging around a 35mm with additional lenses, a digital camera and lenses, and a video camera, and could imagine how it might be to lug a large format camera, like his, around. Knowing that the pictures wouldn't be spectacular I felt sorry for the guy. While It's possible to get some wonderful shots in weather conditions like these, you need time to select the location and set the shot up. Unfortunately with the boat moving the way it was you didn't have much time to react to what you'd see on the bank. In fact, with the limited vision because of the fog it was impossible to know what was coming in the next minute or two. With the 35mm and digital camera it was just a matter of selecting the subject, focusing and clicking, a few seconds at most. So we at least got some shots. I don't imagine he took many pictures because of the time required to set up the shot. But, then, judging from how bad the pictures were because of the weather I don't imagine it made much difference.

An Englishman using a
large format camera on the
deck of the boat

Anne relaxing in our stateroom

Anne talking to Roy, a fellow group traveler

The Welcome Show

All in all that first day on the Princess Elaine was pretty much a waste. Not much to see and what we could see was hampered by the weather. That gave us time to rest and relax and get ready for the exciting few days that lay before us.

Continue to the next page for more pictures from the Yangtze River cruise ...

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Welcome to our China 2001 Photo Album
Planning and Getting there: Grand Circle Tours and Northwest Airlines
Beijing : Arriving in Beijing | Tiananmen Square | The Imperial (Forbidden) Palace (1) | The Imperial Palace (2) | The Nine Sons of the Dragon
The Imperial Palace Garden | The Summer Palace | Summer Palace (2) | Summer Palace (3) | Summer Palace (4) | Local Beijing Market
Local Beijing Market (2) | Hutong | Bell Tower | Hutong Family, Dinner and the Opera | Cloisonné Factory | Ming Tombs | Ming Tombs (2)
Great Wall of China at Ba Da Ling | Temple of Heaven
Shanghai : Arriving Shanghai | Yuyuan Garden | Yuyuan Garden (2) | The Temple of the Jade Buddha | The Bund | Day Excursion to Suzhou
Silk Process | The Administrator's Garden of Suzhou | Shanghai Museum of Art
Cruising the Yangtze River : Yangtze Cruise, Day 1 | Yangtze Cruise, Day 2 | The Xiling and Wu Gorge | The Lesser Three Gorges
The Lesser Three Gorges (2) | The Qutang Gorge | Wanxian | The Last Day of Cruising | Regal China Cruise Lines
Chongqing : Chongqing
Xi'an : Xi'an and Emperor Qin's Terracotta Warriors | Emperor's Qin's Terracotta Warriors (2) | Great Wild Goose Pagoda and Xi'an City Wall
Quilin : The Limestone Peaks of the Li River | The Limestone Peaks of the Li River (2) | Guilin and the Childrens Park | Children's Park (2) and Reed Flute Cave
The Hotels: Hotels, rail and air travel in China
Hong Kong : Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay and Aberdeen Fishing Village | Hong Kong at Sunset | Hong Kong Bird & Flower Market
| New Territories Fishing Village | Hong Kong Farewell Dinner
Bangkok : Jim Thompson House and Golden Buddha | The Flower Market | The Food Vendors | Grand Palace | Mystical Figures | Brightly Painted Masks on Mystical Figures
Golden Mystical Figures | Buildings of the Grand Palace | Lunching at the Shangri La Hotel | Loy Nava Rice Barge Cruise | Ayutthaya, Ancient Capital of Siam
Wat Yai Chai Mongkol and the Reclining Buddha | Bang Pa In, The Summer Palace |

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