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  • Day9

    Yang Tse Cruise: Day 1

    August 17, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

    We had decided to go on the optional morning trip to Fengdu, the ghost city. Up bright and early, it was quite hot, we landed on the coast and walked up. The trip was a little silly, more fur children, full of vampire puppets and paper scheletons. Oleg enjoyed it though. We walked up to the pagoda, where these huge sculptures were and heard the story of Mr. Hell and Mr. Door, who founded the town, went to Nirvana together (suspicious..) and the place was called the Door to Hell. Still puzzled by the story but the Chinese really lapped it up.
    Then we went back on the ship for lunch, quick nap in our lovely air-conditioned cabin then left again on the afternoon trip to see an ancient pagoda over the drunken bridge.
    Our guide was a sweet lady who made me a little sad, telling us about the thousand year old town that was completely gone when the 3 gorges dam was built. It was so incredibly hot that I honestly think I have never felt anything like it, must have been close to 50 degrees. When we got off the ship and our guide shows is the pagoda high up on the hills, more than half the people stopped out of the tour. Stoic Bianca went chasing after her son instead. There were a lot of sad looking old people and tiny children trying to sell little nothings and chanting. This town has nothing, it lives on tourism so you can imagine how they get by. The only tourism is the rushed tour coming from the cruises, always too busy to stop.
    The town was quite nice and to reach the pagoda you had to pass along the Drunken Bridge, a larger version of a suspended bridge that was nearly 200 meters long and quite scary to walk on. It's called the drunken bridge because you walk on it as if you were drink, and you must try not to look down at your feet and the gaps through which you can see a high chasm. The pagoda itself has 9 levels and then 2 more. I made it up, quite proud of myself, the steps were wooden, narrow and very steep but it was worth it. Beautiful. We took cable cars to go part of the way, it was just so hot.
    Back to our boat, we arrived in time for dinner. After dinner there were dances by the crew, some really nice ones from local minorities. Then we left to go sit in the quiet of the starboard deck to watch the stars and the Riverside go by. Lovely and peaceful. After, our group came up and told us that Oleg was on stage dressed as a chicken laying eggs.. I'm sorry to have missed this!
    We stayed out and talked and then went to bed.
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