Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Welcome

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34 Well that is a wrap!

Well that was an amazing week.  It is now 18 months since that trip, and now while I am in Coronavirus lockdown, I spent this time catching up on this blog.

It was great reliving all those memories. 

Alas plans had been made and I was taking Garry to China in August this year.
Tour is booked, flight is paid for and cruise back home is deposited .... But will we get there .... probably not ... hopefully only postponed for a year if all goes well with this virus.

What a world we currently live in.... but that is another story!

33 Ciqikou Ancient Town

"People always say: “If you weren’t on Ciqikou, you weren’t in Chongqing”. Ciqikou Ancient Town, or called Ciqikou Old Town, is a great place to stimulate the taste buds and find unique souvenirs (wooden knickknacks, porcelain, clothes, foods to bring home, etc.). The area is also very suitable for picture taking and enjoying traditional architecture and street performers."

Well I couldn't describe it any better myself.  By now we were pretty tired and it was suggested that we buy something to eat before we start our 4 hour drive back to Chengdu and our flight home..  

This would have had to have been the busiest ancient town with it's small lanes feeding off the main cobbled street.  Artisans in all types of art forms were on display and for sale... 

While the contiki kids went searching for burgers, I settled for street food, so good I went back for seconds.....


Entrance
There is always spruiking for theatre

Lane ways branching out in all directions






View from one of the tea houses..

Artisans of all types at work


looks good but not for me.
Now we are talking
 Once we arrived at the airport it was a mad scramble for everyone to prepare their bags and squeeze in that last lot of shopping for the flight home.



32 Hongyadong

Hongyadong is an 11-storey, 75 meters (245 feet) stilt house abutting a steep cliff.

The Hongya Cave with the cliff was once an ancient military fortress, sitting right next to the river is was also the site of the earliest and most developed pier of ancient China


Now a popular tourist hub with each floor filled with bars, restaurants, street food and stores filled with handicraft.
Stilt House








It was fun watching this gentleman make noodles.... 

31 Chongqing Three Gorges Museum.

This building is massive..Enter the building and you are face with floors and floors of exhibits..

 Glorious Three Gorges - reflects the cultural and historical spirits of the Three Gorges

 Ancient Ba-Yu - introduces the ancient civilisation of Chongqing and origin of the more than 3,000 years of history by showcasing cultural heritages in the Stone Age and Bronze Age.

 Chongqing: the City Road - describes the changes and challenges this city experienced in the 20th century.

 Years of the Anti-Japanese War (1937-1945) - records the wartime ordeals people in this city had gone through.

We were once again left to our devises and we explored the exhibits that interested us.. William did give us some suggestions

here are a selection of my favourite pictures:
Entrance that represent the walls of the Dam


Spectacular interior.... where to first!

Reminded me of the Natural History Museum in New York











30 Debarkation, Chongqing and the long drive back to Chengdu

We were now docked in Chongqing where we disembarked the ship. This was our last day in China and our hosts wanted to ensure that we fit in as much as we could before a four hour drive back to Chengdu Airport for our flight back home at 2 am...   yes that is right 2 AM!

That would be a total of 5 places visited throughout the day.  I will split this post up, only because there will be pictures ... lots of pictures .... only cause I can't decide which are the best ones.


Peoples Assembly Hall

The weather was not the best today

Jiefangbei Business District.

Here we were given free time to walk around, I spent my time wisely looking for a pair of tracky pants to wear on the way home... Now although China is the home of industry... the shops are not cheap....  better off waiting till you get home,  no wonder you see the Chinese tourists running around with designer bags when they are in Sydney.  Any how... H & M came good with the goods.





29 Fengdu Ghost City

The final tour on our Yangtze River cruise was to Fengdu Ghost City.

Fengdu got its name of Ghost City when two imperial officials Yin and Wang came to Ming Mountain to practice Taoism.  Combining their name "Yinwang" it sounds like the word with the meaning "King of Hell".  This sparked the beginning of the site's focus on the "Underworld", which would have been a good name for it if it was a theme park.



Ghosts that are meant to be scary have more of comical look about them




Like all City's we have visited, they all seem to be at the tops of mountains.  So it was another big climb up many steps or for those less inclined there is a cable car that will take you up part of the way.





To reward the walkers there is a path lined with some ghoulish statues which I am sure have a myth or legend behind them.






Much like an amusement park for the dead, rides.... I mean tests have to be passed before passing to the next life.

First they pass the Bridge of Helplessness.  The three arches of the bridge stand side by side, crossing over the middle one you are judged.  The good are allowed to pass while the evil will be pushed into the water below, and like all good rides there is a photo opportunity as you exit.

Like all good rides there are queues


Yay I didn't fall in....


"You can purchase your photo's as you exit the park"




 Test number two, Ghost-Torturing Pass, here you present yourself infront of Yama (King of hell) where you will be judged.

Third test is at the entrance of Tianzi Palace where you have to stand on a rock on one foot for three minutes..  Good people can do ... evil can't and they will be condemned to hell.
















 Many of the temples and shrines show sculptures of people being tortured for their sins.




Monday, April 6, 2020

28 ShiBaoZhai Temple

Another Day another temple, but on saying they all have some special feature and I don't think I would not visit one if it was on offer...  Why did I say that?, well most of the Contiki kids decided to sit this one out..  Think they might have had a big night before, but on saying that this trip has been pretty full on for us...  So off we went....  We docked in walking distance to the Temple and of course it was wet...  But what may have put a spring in us girls step was that there markets in-between...

Following our guide we walked through the streets making a mental note of which stalls we wanted to return to.

This was part of a series of Gates that led us to the Pagoda.  This street was lined on either side with shops and stalls.





We had to cross a suspension bridge that did have a bit of a wobble to it as more and more pedestrians walked over.  The 12 storey bright red painted pagoda is built onto the side of the cliff face and looked quite impressive.







Probably should have made the climb to the top with the others, but those stalls were calling our name and that money was burning a hole our pockets.

So we three girls took our obligatory photos that helped ease our conscious and started heading back. Promising our guide we knew which way to go and promising to be back before all on board time we made our way back.







With our best bartering boots on we shopped our way back, buying  kimono's, kites and probably lots of other useless trinkets.  I think we just got caught up in the thrill of the shop  and the challenge of the best price .