Ships in the dam lock
The excitement (if you can call it that) began early on our second day. We awoke early in the morning to watch as we passed through the ship locks at (I believe) Ge Zhou Dam. Our ship was one of the first to pull into the lock and we watched as others piled in after us. By the time they were finished the lock was full of ships and barges of various sizes.
Anne found the fantail of the one ship (right) interesting and asked that I take a picture. It was decorated with an artificial tree and several potted plants. This was common on many of the ships and barges we passed.

Home away from home

Anne looking back at the lock
The excitement level was really beginning to peak now as we approached San Dou Ping, the site of the Three Gorges Dam project. Unfortunately, as you can see by the photos, the weather had not improved much. In fact, it probably deteriorated somewhat as there was a light drizzle, but that didn't dampen our spirits. We'd heard so much about the Three Gorges Dam Project and were anxious to see it for ourselves. The time had arrived.
Passing through the Ge Zhou Dam the scenery immediately began to change. Where there was
flat terrain there were now hills. I'm not sure how much before Ge Zhou Dam the scenery changed
because we were sleeping, but this was much preferred. As you can see, the hilltops were obscured
by the fog and mist caused by the weather, adding a mood to the pictures.

Before I show you the pictures from the dam site let's look at some of the general information about the dam:

  • Location: San Dou Ping, Yichang, Hubei Province
  • Concrete gravity dam, length 2,309 meters and crest elevation 185 meters
  • Cost: Approximately 25 billion US$
  • Reservoir capacity: 39.3 billion meters
  • Officially started in 1994; 17 years for construction
  • Concrete placing 27.94 million meters
  • Two ship locks and one ship elevator
  • Initial flooding, to 135 meters,to begin in 2003
  • Final construction finished by 2009 and flooding to the 175 meter level

Tour buses waiting at the dock
and the "dollar people" waiting
for us leave the ship
Massive cranes along the poured concrete dam

John, Carol and Alicia at the dam site

The tour group at the lookout
peering at the dam site

Anne in awe at the
sheer size of the dam

Looking out at the area to be flooded

Worker carrying a heavy
load up steep steps
Immediately to the right of the lookout area (picture left) there was a set of steep stairs leading to a dirt path down to the work area below. It was amazing the number of people using the path, many carrying heavy and large objects on their heads (left). We even saw a young woman dressed in high heels trying to negotiate the muddy path down to the housing area that was below for the workers.

Three Gorges Dam Model

Anne and I in front of the model building

Boarding the bus and leaving the lookout area we headed to the top of an adjacent hill to visit the Three Gorges Dam Project Model Room. Inside the building was a large model of the dam project (left). There was also the traditional tourist gift shop offering a conglomeration of anything Chinese plus books and postcards on the dam project.

Anne visiting the local post office. She
doesn't know how to stay away from work.

With our visit to the Three Gorges Dam site and the model exhibition behind us we boarded the bus and began our journey back to the ship.

The Princess Elaine waiting for our return
Returning to the Princess Elaine we were met by the "dollar people" with their
items to sell. One thing about China ... everything was cheap.
Bags of oranges could be bought for a $1!
Now, let's continue to the next page and begin our journey through the first of the Three Gorges, the Xiling Gorge ...
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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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