China Trip – Day 7

YiChang -> Yangtze River on Century Sun Cruise -> Three Gorges Dam / Weather: 46*-72*, Partly sunny with clouds and smog.

We get up at 7. Our ship has 6 decks. We (Gate 1) have a private lounge on Deck 4. Our room has two small twin beds, rather hard, but I slept OK. We go to breakfast at 7:30 and then check out the private lounge.

Rick checking out private lounge. It is nice, at bow of ship, with large windows and protected from rain and wind.

Next we go to a talk on Chinese medicine – acupuncture & acupressure.

One of our group volunteers to have acupuncture done for painful knees.

Next I go listen and watch a gentleman who does fine paintings inside snuff bottles. His family has been doing it for generations. Talk about needing steady hands.

Watching the painting on the inside of snuff bottles.
The brush used has only one little bristle.
You need very steady hands and a lot of patience and time to complete the very fine intricate work.
I didn’t capture the detail, but amazing work.

Our next stop is to attend a lecture on the Yangtze River. It is the longest river in China and the third longest river in the world. In the Chinese language the river is known as the Chang Jianh River. The gentleman giving the lecture told us that his family lost their home when the dam was built on the river. 1.3 million people were relocated as a result of the dam being built and given no choice about the matter. Very hard on older generation. Some families had lived in the same village and homes for 400 years! The younger generation liked the possibility of moving closer to the city with the opportunity to go to school, even if it was two hours away. After lunch we go on the tour to the Three Gorges Dam. It is the world’s largest hydroelectric project ever undertaken by man. It is nearly six times the size of the Hoover Dam (in length and number of turbines, I think). Honestly, having toured and gone in Hoover Dam and watched the building of Oroville Dam – the largest earthen dirt dam (at least at the time) I was not impressed. We only got to see the outside of the dam from an overlook. I was more taken by how it affected the people who had to relocate. The dam has 32 turbines in 3 different power houses.

Map showing the river course.
Our first sighting of the Three Gorges Dam.
It is one BIG DAM.
It is so smoggy and cloudy on the day we are there it is hard to get a clear picture of the dam.
Taken from the overlook on the side of the dam. We take 5 escalators to get to the top (used to have to go up over 700 steps) so the new escalators were muchly appreciated.
What the dam looks like on a somewhat clearer day.
The dam was built not only to produce electricity , but also to increase the Yangtze River’s shipping capacity. This is the locks beside the dam. It takes freighters 4 hours to go through. Cruise ships may have to wait up to 3 weeks to get a place in line to go through.
A freighter going through the locks. The dam also helps reduce the potential for floods.
Our ticket for the tour of the Three Gorges Dam Project. They are still expanding and working on the dam.

At the overlook for pictures my camera’s battery goes dead. It is OK though because with the smog it is hard to get good pictures. We take the bus back to the ship by 5:30 and have dinner at 6:30. Roasted duck is our special local plate for tonight. The best thing for me was the bread pudding! We go back to our room and change clothes for the Captain’s Welcome Party at 8:45. The ship leaves the dock and starts going up the river at 10 PM. Time to close another busy day.