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Impressions of China

San Francisco | Beijing 1 | Beijing 2 | Beijing 3 | Beijing 4 | Xian 1 | Xian 2 | Guilin |  Chong-Qing
Yangtze River 1 | Yangtze River 2 | Yangtze River 3 | Shanghai 1 | Shanghai 2 | Shanghai 3 | Observations
(click any image to enlarge)

Yangtze River - Third Day

The last event of the river trip was a visit to the Three Gorges Dam. As with much of China, at least with respect to what is considered a national treasure or accomplishment, the project is massive. Hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete, massive locks, and great turbines will help supply much of China with additional electric power. One statistic we heard was that, because of this dam and all the other extensive construction throughout the country, China has been buying nearly 50% of the world's cement in the last several years.

While there wasn't any rain the morning we saw the dam, there was a lot of haze/mist
and we only spent several hours
hours to use before we had to be
museum displaying artifacts
river that the dam would flood.
bronzes, and some arrowheads.
known and undiscovered that the
artifacts were slim pickings.
was the display of a private
stones, and fossils. CC loves
hundred different ones there,
there. That left another four
at the airport. We visited a
removed from a portion of the
There were little pots, some
Compared to the antiquities both
river will forever flood, these
Much more interesting, however,
entrepreneur who sold rocks,
rocks and there were several
from two-fisted size to two feet
across. We looked around and found what was not only a beautiful rock (a rock as black as obsidian, but not obsidian, shot through with white marble) but also a great piece of sculpture. [CC note: Peter zeroed in on it immediately; I was still trying to take all of the display in.] The picture doesn't do the sculpture portion of it justice, but the artist coaxed something like an abstract cascade of peonies, a dragonfly and a small bird out of the white marble. The black rock part is smooth and polished, not sculpted.

The stone weighed about 40 pounds. Our guide, not to mention the shop owner, tried to convince us we could carry it on the airplane. We tried lifting it and there was no way we could carry it, or the airline would let us on with it. We asked if there was any shipping service and they said no. Unfortunately, there did not appear to be any way that we could get the piece to US. We passed it up. On the way to lunch CC had the idea of trying to get the museum upstairs, which sold "antiquities" including porcelain vases and furniture to tourists, to handle shipping. We asked the guide to call the museum. Instead, the guide wanted us to eat lunch (this was what was on the schedule and she was afraid that she would get into trouble if we didn't eat). We finally convinced her that we would rather have the piece of sculpture than lunch, but not before I talked to her boss on the phone and CC wrote the boss a note about it being our choice to skip lunch. The rest of the story is long and complicated, but in the end we arranged to have to piece shipped to the US.
     

San Francisco | Beijing 1 | Beijing 2 | Beijing 3 | Beijing 4 | Xian 1 | Xian 2 | Guilin |  Chong-Qing
Yangtze River 1 | Yangtze River 2 | Yangtze River 3 | Shanghai 1 | Shanghai 2 | Shanghai 3
Observations


HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC