Archive for May, 2014

April 30 Wednesday

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Pack the night before, Get up, Put suitcases outside room, eat, bus to airport and go home.

Shanghai traffic – accidents waiting to happen


And on the way to the airport it did happen. All we could think about was the police holding us up until we missed our planes but none of that. They got the info they needed and let us go. Since it was a brand new bus the driver probably lost his job but at least he didn’t get shot – I hope



Impressions of Viking:

Very well organized. This was not their first rodeo. All arrangements were first class. All meals were wonderful, treating us to a variety of traditional chinese foods. More food than we could reasonably be expected to eat.Even the box lunches provided for the in china flights were good and we probably did not need them since we ate big breakfasts before hand and big dinners after. Probably did not need the local guides in each city but I suspect that that was some kind of union(or their version of union) rule. Our Tour guide Larry was the best. Great english, great knowledge of China and enough knowledge of USA to cite similarities. None of the other groups complained about their guides but I can not believe they were as good as Larry. We lucked out. We got our money’s worth with Viking.

Impressions of Delta:

The upgrade to economy comfort was well worth it. Wish we did not have to backtrack from Chicago to Detroit before going on to Beijing but-oh well. On the way out of Shanghai we of course dumped our water bottles prior to going through security. Since we had time to kill before boarding we bought two bottles of Evian water for $7 each. After checking through the counter to board we walked around a corner and surprise!!! another security check where they took our expensive water. On the plane I asked for a bottle of water and was told only first class got bottled water(everyone else got cups of water). An attendant also said that we should have dumped the water at security and kept the bottle as they could have refilled it. I think Delta could have handled this better.


Impressions of China:

WOW!!! Big, great people, gone from communist to socialist with a lot of capitalist leanings but also a lot of government control. Wonderful culture, history etc. Food, western and chinese was excellent although I can do without chicken feet and fish eyes and tofu. Only used western toilets for the important stuff. Couldn’t figure out how to use traditional hole in the floor ones without fouling ones clothes. We stayed in western style hotels with all the amenities. The people with whom we came in contact, tour guides, hotel and restaurant staff, staff at visited sites and in stores were very helpful, friendly and not too bad in communicating. Far better than us in Chinese. China left me with a most favorable impression.

April 29 Tuesday Shanghai

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Visited the Shanghai Museum, took the Yuyuan Garden Tour and then went through Old Shanghai.

After dinner we attended an acrobat show. Not allowed to take pictures but of course two very ugly american women were snapping away. I only wish that management confiscated their cameras or made them leave or both. The show was fantastic.


Shanghai Museum

Shanghai Museum

Outside the  Museum

Outside the Museum


Just another odd Shanghai bldg

Just another odd Shanghai bldg


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INSIDE THE SILK FACTORY-the women are working on silk looms



silk worm cocoon




The $160 mat

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Yuyuan Garden    Dating back to the Ming Dynasty

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Old Shanghai (Chinatown) Left to our own devices with time to shop.


Fast food


The meeting place

The recognizable meeting place


The god of money

That is the god of money up there


The last dinner

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April 28, Afternoon – Shanghai

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

With another box lunch(not as good as the first but OK) we were off to the airport for another hour flight from Wuhan to Shanghai. Upon arrival we walked the “BUND” and then checked into our hotel.


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April 28 Monday Morning – Wuhan

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

After 5 wonderful days and nights on the Viking Emerald we leave the ship in Wuhan. Visited their museum with artifacts from the Warring States Period. Including their collection of chimes and bells. Enjoyed a performance of chimes and bells etc.

The museum

The museum

Panorama of Wuhan from museum steps

Panorama of Wuhan from museum steps


Outer Casket

Outer Casket

Inner casket

Inner casket


The gals he had buried with him. Ready or not

The gals he had buried with him. Ready or not





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 wine vessel

wine vessel

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Jade that was put into the mouth of the dead

Jade that was put into the mouth of the dead


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The Performance


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April 27, Sunday

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

This school is sponsored by Viking. Additionally, passengers donate money, supplies etc. The kids who go here are for the most part raised by grandparents because parents work far away. If the kids go to school on a weekend to accommodate Viking visits they get a day off during the week.



town school is in

town school is in

town school is in

town school is in





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My seat mate


math teacher


We need this sign in our schools

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Traffic on lower Yangtze

Traffic on lower Yangtze



The Bridge

The Bridge

With all the tea in China Viking serves Lipton

With all the tea in China Viking serves Lipton


April 26 Three Gorges Dam

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Passage through the 5 stage locks took about 4 hours. Couldn’t stay up for the whole thing.

I needed sleep so I missed the Damn tour. Betty went though.


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April 25 Friday The lesser Gorges

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

The Daning River and the three lesser gorges. Had to stop to pay a govt tax. However, the sign on the boat collecting the “tax” said: “China National Park” so I would call it an entrance fee.Got to see monkeys (no Pictures – too fast) and hanging coffins (hard to see – too far for the iPhone)

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How the ancients blocked off the cave entrance

How the ancients blocked off the cave entrance

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Hanging coffin - bigger of two caves right of horz slash

Hanging coffin – bigger of two caves right of horz slash

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fishing nets

fishing nets

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April 24, Thursday

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Sailing the Yangtze and stopping at Shibaozhai Pagoda which was built in 1650 AD. The was there looked like a long uphill  before getting to the 12 story pagoda so we opted out.


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The Pagoda

The Pagoda

washing clothes

washing clothes


Gangway from the ship

Gangway from the ship

April 23, Wednesday

Friday, May 9th, 2014

After breakfast, headed for the airport with another box lunch. Not as good as the first but OK.

Flew to Chongqing. On the Yangtze River, this was the capital of China during WWII. The Flying Tigers were based here.

Found some time to see the “Peoples House” (seat of Govt, I think) and to visit a local market. Note the booze is 60% Alcohol (that is 120 proof folks)

The walk from the bus to the ship was not bad but the stairs down to the river were very steep. Made it nonetheless.


Either Xi'an or Chongqing airport

Either Xi’an or Chongqing airport

Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines

Peoples House (seat of Govt)

Peoples House (seat of Govt)



Local Market

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Our cabin, dinner and Lois ( bar supervisor who never forgot a name). Also the route of the Yangtze.



Lois - bar supervisor - never forgot a name

Lois – bar supervisor – never forgot a name




After Dinner show

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April 22, Tuesday

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Xi’an is the start of the “Silk Road(s)” which ended in Rome. Check out the timeline.

Terra Cotta Warriors, Crowne Plaza and of course dinner. Local guide was Mary. Good english and good guide. Site discovered when farmers tried to dig a well in the 70’s. When Clinton visited he was to meet one of the farmers. They gave theta farmer extensive english lessons but when he was supposed to say ” How are you?” he instead said, “Who are you?” Clinton said Hillary’s husband. The Chinese govt liked the exchange so much that they gave the farmer a pension and a house. Since he had nothing to do he volunteers to sign books on the site.

It takes three archeologists(in blue) one year to put one warrior back together again. This stuff was buried over 2000 years ago.


The writing on the yellow bamboo strips is how the ancients did it.


the hospital, archeologists in blue

the hospital, archeologists in blue


The silk roads from Xi’an to Rome



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Mary – Xi’an local guide


Kneeling archer








The farmer who talked with Clinton-now retired and volunteering to sign books






Lunch, the hotel, electricity for the hotel and the Tang Dynasty dinner show

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electricity for the hotel

electricity for the hotel


Loved the “Made in the USA” About 6 Y to the $



Tang Dynasty Show

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