Sharon and John G


Sharon and John G

Asia » China » Chongqing » Fengdu April 22nd 2014

We finished our breakfast, already docked at the pier barge connected to shore by a pontoon bridge. Other boats were already mooring to The Viking Emerald. Ashore, women along the banks were do their washing in the waters of the Yangtze. Just outside a man walked by with a pole across his shoulders supporting about five gallons of water in plastic jugs from either end, the pole bowing under the combined 80 pounds of murky water in the jugs. Arnold had said on the bus previously that even locals must boil the water taken from the river, when discussing the safety of water taken from the local water systems in major cities, such as Shanghai or Chongqing; while, that water is safe for local people to drink directly it can still cause westerners problems. So bottled ... read more
The Temple and Pagoda
Locals washing the clothes in the river
You could have them carry you to the temple

Asia » China » Chongqing » Wushan April 21st 2014

We cleared the five locks of The Three Gorges early into the morning. Because our entry was after 10pm, there was no shipboard narration for passengers. Although some might have been disappointed by the limited visibility at the Three Gorges Dam, it needs to be taken in perspective that we were pretty fortunate since many previous tours are unable to see the dam at all. We did look outside our cabin before we turned in, and saw that we were in the process of going through one of the locks. The entire transit takes about four hours. We felt that sleep was probably a better use of these hours. The morning onboard scenic cruising through Wu Gorge and the view of the Goddess Pic was rescheduled for 7:30am; so we decided to grab breakfast first. I ... read more
Hanging Coffin
Hanging Coffin not as close up
Time for Maj Jong Class

Asia » China » Hubei » Three Gorges Dam April 20th 2014

Easter Sunday began for us on the Yangtze River with the first glimpse of the sun we’d had all week. We went up to the fifth deck Lounge to see if we could connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi because the connection in our room this morning was spotty. We also decided not to do the Tai Chi class this morning. Sharon was able to upload yesterday’s blog as well as some pictures. We went to breakfast and ended up joining a table that filled up with travelers from Canada. At 9 am we went to a lecture by Bob on the Three Gorges Dam which we will be visiting this afternoon. This dam is the world’s largest generator of electricity by a renewable source. The need for this dam has been recognized for about a century, ... read more
Sai Pan boats
Lock from practice Dam

Asia » China » Hunan » Yueyang April 19th 2014

After a good night’s sleep, I’m still getting up before dawn. I’m beginning to think that our decision to take an April trip to China was a pretty good one. There has been a bit of humidity, but so far temperatures have been nice and we can’t complain about the air quality. Arnold tells us that the monsoon season begins in May, and we wouldn’t want to deal with that. Both Sharon and I made our way up to the Sun Deck (deck 6) for the morning Tai Chi half hour workout with our Tai Chi Master Tom (not his real name). Due to the very moist outside conditions from the heavy fog, this mornings had been moved inside to the Lounge on Deck 5. When we arrived Master Tom was warming up with a demonstration ... read more

Asia April 19th 2014

Here are some photos for the past few days.... read more
TV Tower in clouds
TV Tower after clouds lifted
West Crown Tower

Asia » China » Hubei » Wuhan April 19th 2014

Alright, it’s just my feeble attempt to annoy Sharon with a hint of my favorite “camel commercial” from last year, you know the one… (about hump day). I could have waited until next Wednesday, but she might have seen that one coming! We awoke closer to a normal time this morning, but were still a little anxious as our stay in Shanghai is coming to an end. We enjoyed a somewhat leisurely breakfast; although, it took Sharon a while to get someone to make her a pancake. I took the eggs over medium that had already cooked when I got in the omelet and egg line. Once I realized the eggs were up for grabs, that worked for me! After breakfast I got change for some of the 100 Yuan bills I exchanged earlier this week, ... read more

Asia » China » Shanghai April 17th 2014

I really can’t say enough about the Shanghai Westin on the Bund. This is a great place to stay and it’s understandable why it is the preferred hotel among our many fellow Viking Cruisers. Our bed is a very comfortable king, and I’ve mentioned the spectacular view from our corner room. The ceiling above the bed is recessed, and that is recessed again above the rest of the room and adjoining bathroom, so immediately it becomes and interesting customized living space and not just some boxy hotel room. I marveled for some time about the circular cut-out design in our granite bathroom floor. The walls and floor and shower are done in an attractive black, white and gray granite with a smooth marble-like look. I next noticed the circular recessed ceiling above the floor design to ... read more
Sparrow wings
Tea House by Yu Garden
Yu Garden

Asia » China » Shanghai April 16th 2014

For some time now Sharon and I would marvel to each other, perhaps the first thing in the morning, perhaps as we’re sitting down to eat dinner, or when another of the many items on or Checklist-for-China had been satisfied (e.g. getting shots, sending our passports away for the visa, getting them back again, getting smog masks… somehow I wound up with the one with cute little dragons on it), we would grin at each other and one would say, “We’re goin’ to China, Babe!” Sharon had to get a tetanus shot; since, hers was woefully out of date. She also needed the one shot my doctor had recommended: the Flu Shot. He had also suggested the Hepatitis-A shot, which we both wound up getting, but he had failed to mention that that shot takes 6 ... read more
View from the Bund at night in Shanghai
View from the Bund at night in Shanghai
View from the Bund at night in Shanghai

North America » United States » Illinois » Chicago April 14th 2014

My recent jubilation at the advent of spring may have been somewhat premature as I’ll describe shortly. We managed to get our packing finished on Sat with Sharon’s checked bag 33 lbs and mine at 44 (just under the limit) so that was good. However, the carryons are another story since they were both close to 25 well over the supposed 11 lb limit. We’ll move some stuff into Sharon’s checked bag before our first internal flight and some of mine into a backback. From what Sharon has read we should be ok. Sharon had warned me a couple of days ago that incredibly snow was being forecast for Chicago on Monday (today), the very day that we planned to drive to Chicago. This morning we awoke in southern Ohio, to heavy intermittent downpours. Sharon even ... read more

North America » United States » Ohio April 10th 2014

As I sit overlooking the green grass and barren trees that surround the rear of our house, I see that two new homes have sprouted up on nearby vacant lots during this winter I’ll not soon forget, I marvel that spring may actually be here. However much we might all like to malign Punxsutawney Phil, he actually got it right this year about the six more weeks of winter. I can only wonder what spring will be like in China next week when we arrive for our Viking Imperial Jewels of China vacation. It all started over a year ago upon our return from the Holland America cruise around the tip of South America and into Antarctica. Sharon urged me to pick somewhere to go for my 60th birthday, and my choice of Disney World did ... read more

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