Tag Archives: Daily Post

Three Gorges: Xiling Gorge

This is my last Gorge post, it finishes my little project of trying to organize my photos from two trips through the Three Gorges region in China. Xiling is the easternmost of the gorges and is downstream of the Three Gorges Dam, running from the outskirts of Yichang city up to the base of the dam.

Even with two trips I never got to see much of Xiling Gorge. Because it is downstream from the Three Gorges Dam, and the river cruise boats dock above the Three Gorges Dam at Maoping when they cannot go through the locks we were bused from Yichang in 2014 and to Yichang in 2017.

In 2014 we were able to see a little bit of the area by taking an optional excursion to a scenic area called “Three Gorges Tribe”. This is in the Xiling Gorge and to get to it they bused us to a local ferry that took us to the spot. Here are some pictures from that excursion:

Last spring, April of 2017, we had time between when the buses got us to the dock in Yichang and our flight. I had arranged a guide and we went to a couple of parks that included an overview of the eastern entrance to the Xiling Gorge. The statue overlooks the start of the Three Gorges area.

I learned from our guide that day that there is a tourist ferry from Yichang. It goes up through the concept dam and Xiling Gorge to the base of the Three Gorges dam, you take a tour of the dam from there then a bus back to Yichang.

If I decide to go again I will definitely arrange to spend an extra night in Yichang and take that outing, even though it’s an extra tour of the dam, to make sure I get to see Xiling Gorge. If I had known about it before the last trip we might have been able to do it. China has some lovely scenery, and many very interesting cultural sights, but it can be difficult to find out about things to do that are not specifically aimed at foreign visitors. I often feel like you have to go places at least twice to really get to know them.

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Three-Gorges: lesser three gorges

This outing, commencing in Badong, is to an area where the streams drop directly into the reservoir formed by the Three Gorges Dam and is touted as an opportunity to see scenery reminiscent of how things were before the dam was built.

The area is very lovely. The outing consists of riding on a tourist ferry then embarking on a sampan to explore a stream that is tributary to the Yangtze.

A practical note, if you are planning to go: The sampan part was optional and cost a bit more, to stay on the ferry, which I believe travels farther on the more major tributary was included. If you are not fairly spry you might prefer to not go on the sampans.

Still working on the Daily Post Prompt:Gorge

Three Gorges-Wu Gorge

 

Wu is the middle gorge of the three gorges. It is between Wushan and Badong cities. You can see a larger version of any picture by clicking on it.

On the Yangtze River cruises there is an outing from Badong. I don’t know what the general rule is, or if there is one since we took different cruise lines different years, but going up the outing was to what they called the “lesser-three gorges” (hopefully my next post), going downstream last spring it was to Shennong Stream.

*If you read this post earlier: I made a mistake earlier and the actual name of the outing was “lesser three gorges”, sometimes called “mini-three gorges”, there is a similarly named “three gorges tribes” themed area in the Xiling Gorge.

Three Gorges-Qutang Gorge

Since I didn’t do a thorough job of assigning keywords to my pictures it is taking me some time to sort through my Gorge pictures.

Qutang Gorge

If you are heading down river the first gorge of the three gorges is Qutang Gorge. It starts at the White Emperor City (Baidicheng) and ends at Daxi. Here are some images from two trips through the Qutang gorge. In fall of 2014 my Dad and I went up river and in spring of this year, 2017, my son and I went downriver. The photos with brown water are from the fall of 2014, right after a flood, which washed a lot of soil and trash into the river. The ones from the spring of 2017 are, I’ve been told, the more normal water color.

Three Gorges Dam

Today’s prompt: Gorge got me armchair traveling back to the Three Gorges in China. I never really finished going through and organizing the pictures from two trips through the three gorges one in September of 2014, and in April of this year, 2017.

Both trips the five step locks were not operating at full capacity so the tour boats were not allowed through. In 2014 there was flooding in the upper Yangtze and this year they were doing the annual maintenance. So I still haven’t actually been able to go through the locks.

Third time lucky? I’d love to actually go through the locks but I still haven’t decided if I’ll try again, since I would have to travel at a different time of year than I usually do to avoid both flood season and annual maintenance.

Un-nesting

In our family we like to nest. My grandmother is no exception. We are giving up her apartment, because she will be remaining at a skilled nursing facility. It just isn’t safe or reasonable for her to be without access to care 24 hours a day.

Un-nesting her is a significant effort: her apartment was stuffed, every nook and cranny full of trinkets and memorabilia. The walls covered with paintings and other art to where not much wall showed through, even at that there were a couple of boxes of framed items that were never unpacked from when we mover her up from California over two years ago. And a few items are in the backs of closets.

The holiday season isn’t optimal for dealing with this change: I’ve spent many hours this past week enfolding fragile trinkets in bubble wrap. Things that probably won’t be unwrapped again by us. The stuff of life, treasured and carefully tended for so long, sits in boxes, waiting until someone who is more emotionally distant sends them off to a new home. As a result of this time we aren’t having a family Thanksgiving. Some of us will be joining Grandma at the nursing home for dinner there.

I’ve sent many things off to charity: outfits that will never again fit, clothing items that are too hard to get on and off. Kitchen items that no one in the family needs right now (more of that to come). But mostly I kept things, carefully wrapping up favorite dishes and glassware, fancy china serving pieces. and so on. Maybe a great grand-child setting up a home will need them in a few years.

This “un-nesting” is the antithesis of what most people are doing over the holidays. I feel out of sync. Unlike my cat, the Empress, who settles in anywhere.

A Mushroom Memory

The summer of 2016 seems like forever ago. We took my grandmother on a sojourn to eastern Washington and one of the highlights of that trip was a lovely lunch I had featuring oyster mushrooms, which I had not tasted before. They really did have an oyster-ish flavor.

20160715-KSM-Mushrooms-01

On returning home, I was emboldened to get some mushrooms at the local farmer’s market and experiment with them, both in still life photographs (which I rarely do, in part because I don’t have any clutter-free areas in the house to use) and in cooking.

I hadn’t thought about that for a long time, maybe I need to hit the farmer’s market this Sunday…

Experimental

Point of curiosity: Chinese eggs

In China I have at times been fascinated by the variety of eggs available. I found a few pictures of eggs that are unlike what one would ever see in a grocery store in the US. A variety of sizes and colors, and cooking treatments.

Seeing how people in China pile eggs into a plastic bag (no egg cartons) to carry them home fascinated me. Cracking the eggs I realized that US eggs have much more fragile shells (at least those sold in Grocery stores do). US eggs piled into a plastic bag would be scrambled, with extra calcium from the shells, before they got home.

I don’t know why that is, but if you do I’d love to hear about it.

Daily Post prompt:Egg

No time for an egg

My favorite breakfast is an egg, a piece of toast, and a tomato (grilled) or a piece of fruit. This weekend I’m attending a conference and have been settling for cold cereal. With a be-downtown-by-9:00am deadline, I was thrilled that it was fallback day. Mornings aren’t my best thing.

I hussled the pups around a few blocks and couldn’t figure out where my temporal margin of safety went. Grabbed my pack and headed briskly up the hill to the bus stop. It was a cold but not torrential rain during these activities.

I saw a bus stopping from a block away. I don’t run for buses on principal, but especially not when the pavement is wet. The bus lingered at the stop, long enough that I started to hope, so I made my slow pantomime of running in case the driver was looking, . The bus pulled out when I was less than twenty feet from it. So much for on-time.

I sat on the icy cold bench. To make it extra uncomfortable it is a metal mesh. Which means it conducts the icy cold ambient temperature  and allows an icy breeze through, so it stays cold. After a few minutes the rain changed to snow. The next bus was only 15 minutes later but my toes, and other parts, were numbing up nicely by then.

On the bus I looked at my watch and realized that I hadn’t changed it. Instead of being a few minutes late I was too early and needed to find a way to kill time and stay warm in the Sunday morning desert of downtown.

So I got my egg after all.

If I had been a little more on it I could have had it at home, where it was warm, instead of the bagel sandwich shop where I got hit with a blast of cold air every time someone came in.

I realized that my alarm is on my cell phone, which automatically updates, and every other clock in the house, plus my wrist watch was on yesterday time (my husband usually handles this chore but he is out of town). Has anyone else forgotten to change their clocks back?