Continue on the Yangtze River with an excursion to Shibaozhai Pagoda / Weather: Cloudy, overcast, with occasional rain and the ever present smog
We get up at 6:30, go to breakfast. (I thought this was vacation, what is it with all this getting up so early?) At 8:15 we go on the shore excursion to the Shibaozhai Pagoda in Changqing. This pagoda is referred to as one of the eight construction wonders of the world. It is built into the side of a rocky cliff face and done without the use of nails! The pagoda is original, greater than 400 years old, built in the Ming Dynasty. It is 12 stories high and stands over 100 feet high. To get to it we hike up the hill through the market to the swinging bridge to the island. It is much quieter here and our guide tells us he gets a three bedroom house for only $300/year!
We head back to the ship. We stop and buy two circular wooden carvings of dragons that I think we will use for hot plates on our table. A few more interesting sites we see on our way back:
While back on the ship we watch a demonstration of painting in snuff bottles, like the ones we bought yesterday. It is a dying art, there are less than a hundred artists left. The new generation has no patience to do it. We have lunch and then get to take a private tour of the captain’s bridge. They have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd mate on duty. The captain is on the bridge only for going in and out of port. The mates work 4 hours on, 8 hours off, 4 hours on and 8 hours off.
Rick still doesn’t feel well, now feels like he is getting a cold. I go to watch a demonstration on how to tie scarfs. Rick ends up going to learn how to play the game Mahjong. Next we go to a documentary about the Three Gorges Dam. Two Chinese ladies in front of me are very rude and talk for the entire hour instead of watching the movie.
We go to the farewell dinner and join in celebrating with drinks. After dinner we find our ship manager – Stephen and pay him a gratuity. We then head to our to pack and be ready to disembark tomorrow.