Wednesday, June 11, 2008

China Day 12: China is Gorges!

For those who didn't grow up in western New York, the nearby town of Ithaca has "Ithaca is Gorges" as its unofficial slogan due to its rugged geography...

For our afternoon's entertainment, we sat on the deck
while the Princess Elaine passed through the remaining two gorges, the Wu Gorge (where we saw Goddess Peak and the Elephant Eye Cave)
and the Qutang Gorge, adorned with the Flame Mountain Peak and other things whose names I have already forgotten. Don't you love the names the Chinese give to the features of the scenery? It's their long poetic and literary legacy, I guess.

Every turn in the river led to another dramatic vista,
and we saw ample evidence of both Extreme Agriculture [people are actually farming at a 45 degree angle. I expect they have the same kind of livestock I remember reading about in my fairy tale books: the legs on the left side of the animal are half the length of the legs on the right.]
and Extreme Architecture:
I can't even tell what these things are!
At the eastern edge of the Qutang Gorge, we passed one of the most famous views in China; it's on the back of the 10-yuan note:
This view was even more impressive a few years ago when the gorge was deeper, but it's not bad now. Like every geeky tourist, we had our photo taken posing in front of it!

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