All Aboard

The Yangtze Gold 8 was our home for 4 nights and 3 days.

We boarded late at night in Yichang and the boat slipped its mooring and started upstream at sunrise the following day.  I grabbed my camera and greeted the sunrise.

Sunrise near Yichang.

Sunrise near Yichang.

A fellow tourist also enjoys the fact that we don't have to go anywhere this morning.

A fellow tourist also enjoys the fact that we don’t have to go anywhere this morning.

The interior staircase.
The interior staircase.

An upper deck. When we docked for a tour or, once, for seemingly no reason at all, we were hard up against another large ship. The exit to shore was at water level, through the lower deck of whatever boats were between us and the shore.

An upper deck. When we docked for a land tour or, once, for seemingly no reason at all, we were hard up against another large ship. The exit to shore was at water level, through the lower deck of whatever ships were between us and the shore.

Another balcony view.

Another balcony view.

Unlike most of my posts, these photos were not all taken on the same day. On our last day on the water, we visited Fengdu, also known as The Ghost City. Not Ghost City as in empty, but Ghost City as in occupied by spirits. There will be some posts about Fengdu in due course.

Leaving the ship - this was on our third day on the water as we left to visit Fengdu, the Ghost City.

Leaving the ship – this was on our third day on the water.

Returning to the ship from Fengdu.

Returning to the ship from Fengdu.

Returning to the Yangtze Gold 8.

Returning to the Yangtze Gold 8.

Next post: Three Gorges Tourism

Goodbye Shanghai

On our last morning in Shanghai we had a little time before making our way to the airport. These are the views from my hotel room; you can see the reflection from the windows here and there.

Yes, I was a long way up and that was the case with almost every hotel we stayed in during our tour. (A good thing.)

I’ve upped the contrast, used a filter to darken and sharpen the smoggy views in the distance, and applied a few other Lightroom tricks to make the scene look brighter and more attractive than it actually was.

So these 5 photos go from left (looking southwest) to right (northwest.)  The common element in the first four pictures is a beautiful bridge (the Inner Ring Elevated Road) over the Huangpu River.  China builds very impressive and beautiful bridges.

Far left of scan.

Far left of scan.

2nd left of scan.  The tall buildings on the skyline in the middle are Pudong.  The top of the Oriental Pearl Tower can barely be seen through the smog just over where the cables start.

2nd left of scan. The tall buildings on the skyline in the middle are Pudong. The top of the Oriental Pearl Tower can barely be seen through the smog just over where the cables start.

Middle of five photos.  There is a strong reflection from the hotel window in this photo and to the left of that, almost at the edge, you can faintly see the Oriental Pearl Tower.

Middle of five photos. There is a strong reflection from the hotel window in this photo and to the left of that, almost at the edge, you can faintly see the Oriental Pearl Tower.

4th photo.  You can really appreciate the volume of commercial traffic.

4th photo. You can really appreciate the volume of commercial traffic.

Last photo.  There are cranes, boats and industrial warehousing all along this stretch of the Huangpu river.

Last photo. There are cranes, boats and industrial warehousing all along this stretch of the Huangpu river.

After breakfast we went to the airport where our flight to Wuhan was delayed by two or three hours. When we finally arrived in Wuhan, we had no time to tour, or eat, but we were subjected to a local tour guide who boarded our bus and prattled on about how many different kinds of cars were manufactured in his city (the only fact I remember!). We were not a very receptive audience! He continued to drone on when it grew dark until we got a break from him at one of the worst (I-will-leave-to-your-imagination) rest stops of the tour. We had a very late supper at our destination, Yichang, and it was after 11 pm when we boarded our ship for a four-night, three-day cruise up the Yangtze, through the Three Gorges Dam, and on Chungking.

I had been wondering up until Yichang where the poor people were (and why we were not seeing them.) In Yichang I found out.  Porters milled around our arriving bus and then carried our luggage, two pieces at a time, on the ends of a yoke, down a very steep ramp /stairs to the ship.  I don’t know who paid them but was wishing I had been prepared to give them tips.

Next Series of Posts: On the Yangtze

When Pigs Fly – Street Photography in Shanghai

When Pigs Fly

When Pigs Fly   (Taken from the bus…)

Taken earlier in the day outside the Shanghai Museum while waiting for our bus.

Stricken with Pixie dust?

Stricken with Pixie dust?

I have no recollection of what part of Shanghai these next pictures are from. It was very crowded and full of interesting small stores with fairly pushy vendors.  I do know I bought two delightful pictures of very young children feeding each other with chopsticks.  The pictures are now framed and in my dining room.

We were turned loose in a crowd.

We were turned loose in a crowd.

Lovebirds' selfie.

Lovebirds’ selfie.   And Starbucks.

Where are we?

Where are we?

At some point we went to a more modern shopping area in Shanghai, the Nanjing Road, which was closed to motor vehicles (welcome relief from Chinese traffic.)   There were small trolleys, each with about three cars, which shuttled people back and forth along Nanjing Road for a small fee. We were near a huge glass-fronted Apple store when we watched a fight break out between a woman who fell (or was pushed) off a trolley, and the driver.  The woman threw the first punch and was joined by two of her female friends; the poor guy was taking quite a beating – and he didn’t fight back.  A security person called the police.  We left when they showed up. It took a lot of will power not to snap pictures. And so I have none of Nanjing Road…

 

These last three photos were taken from the bus as it returned from supper to our hotel.  The building below looks like something from the Arts and Crafts movement in England at the end of the 19th century but the window is dated 1998.

The window is dated 1998.  A beautiful facade to a well proportioned building.

 A beautiful facade to a well proportioned building.

The streets are ready for October 1, and the celebrations for the founding of the PRC.

The streets are ready for October 1, and the celebrations for the founding of the PRC.

Inside and outside on a busy Shanghai street.

Inside and outside on a busy Shanghai street.

Next post: Goodbye Shanghai:  more views of the Huangpu river (and smog)

I am wandering off to San Francisco to visit the grand-triplets (yup, three of them) but have some posts ready to go.  If I can publish them from my iPad, there will still be posts every couple of days.  If not, see you in early March.

Chinese Calligraphy and Art

Did not note the artist.

Did not note the artist.

I love Chinese calligraphy and ink drawings.  I spent much of my time at the Shanghai Museum in the galleries devoted to that type of art.

Chan chun - Flowers in ink - 1544 (Ming)

Chan chun – Flowers in ink – 1544 (Ming)

Mei Qing - Scenery of the Yellow Mountain ~1650 (Qing)

Mei Qing – Scenery of the Yellow Mountain ~1650 (Qing)

Huang Shen - Peony - 1745 (Qing)

Huang Shen – Peony – 1745 (Qing)

Wang Shishen - Flowers - first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen – Flowers – first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen - Flowers - first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen – Flowers – first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen - Flowers - first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen – Flowers – first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen - Flowers - first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen – Flowers – first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Qi Huang- Seven Cocks - 1864-1957 - Qin and after

Qi Huang- Seven Cocks – 1864-1957 – Qin and after

Qi Huang- Seven Cocks - 1864-1957 - Qin and after

Qi Huang- Seven Cocks (detail) – 1864-1957 – Qin and after

This last brush artist, (2 photos above) who lived into the middle of the 20th century, either used bolder colours, or, because his work is not as old, the inks have not faded. I wonder which.

Self explanatory - and applies to the last two photos.

Self explanatory – and applies to the last two photos.

Buddhist stele. 6th C.

Buddhist stele. 6th C.

Buddhist stele.

Buddhist stele.

Next Post – More Shanghai street photography.

A Pixie at the Shanghai Museum

We were not there to see the Impressionists (more's the pity) but I found lots of interesting things to see.

We were not there to see the Impressionists (more’s the pity) but I found lots of interesting things.

The Shanghai Museum is a “must see. ”  It is architecturally satisfying, inside and out, professional, classy and has a huge variety of exhibit types and methods of display.

Lovely sculptures protect the building:

Shanghai Museum-2961

Shanghai Museum-2960

This plaque applies to the next photo, the sculpture of a Pixie.

This plaque applies to the next photo, the sculpture of a Pixie.

The description of this        sculpture is in the previous photo.

The description of this sculpture is in the previous photo.

The stairwells were well lit so I could photograph how beautiful the interior is.

Shanghai Museum-2964

Shanghai Museum-2963

While cameras were permitted, the light levels within the museum were too low to capture much.

The map below is fascinating as it shows the current spread of the hundreds of ethnic groups in China. The major group (90%) are the Han Chinese as shown by the vast areas of pale yellow in the east. Tibetans (golden yellow) occupy the south west and Mongolians (bright chartreuse) the central north. The Uygur (light chartreuse green) are in the area in the northwest beneath the Kazaks (forest green.) While waiting to take the picture I overheard the following comment from a well-heeled couple with American accents, she of Chinese descent, he a Caucasian: “We are descended from the Tang Dynasty (618-906) but I don’t see it in the list. Why is it not there?” Ummm, because these are ethnic groups not dynastic descendants…?

Shanghai Museum-2966

I took one photo of a costume because it was so colourful but forgot to note the group which would have worn it.

Shanghai Museum-2967

Next post: Chinese calligraphy and painting.

Shanghai – 1948-49 and 2012

The Bund. Observant readers may recognize this photo from two posts ago.

The Bund. From 2013, not 1948.

While doing research for a photo assignment for a course I recently took, I happened upon photos taken in China in 1948 and 1949. The photographer was Henri Cartier Bresson, a famous photo journalist and one of the founders of Magnum Photos.   If you scroll down from the top of the page you will find “Selected Photo Essays” and you would pick: China 1948-49.  Photos 12-18 and 27-39 were taken in Shanghai.  Link here.

The second link is to a delightful short film on YouTube about Shanghai – through the eyes of a young girl who cannot imagine living anywhere but a big city – and about Prince Edward Island (where I live) – through the eyes of an older gentleman who never left his home province. The film is called ‘Here and Away‘ and was made in 2012.  The gentleman has since passed away.

Shanghai in Sepia

My pictures of Shanghai from the water were dull and lifeless; after all it was raining and smoggy. I began experimenting with black and white and fell upon an “aged” preset for photos in Lightroom. Perfect.

The Bund from the middle of the Huangpu River.

The Bund from the middle of the Huangpu River.

The Bund from the middle of the Huangpu River.

The Bund from the middle of the Huangpu River.

The aged photos of modern buildings in Pudong were no less impressive.

Pudong and the Oriental Pearl Tower.

Pudong and the Oriental Pearl Tower.

I've heard the building with the handle in the top referred to as 'the handbag.'

Also Pudong. I’ve heard the building with the handle in the top referred to as ‘the handbag.’

This is one of my favourite photos from the trip, also of Pudong.

This photo was taken from about as far down river as our cruise went, looking back at the high-rises of Pudong.

This photo was taken from about as far down river as our cruise went, looking back at the high-rises of Pudong.

The industrial aspects of the river also look good in sepia.

An industrial area down river from The Bund.

An industrial area down river from The Bund.

Luxury liner and barges, also a repeat from a previous post, but better with an 'aged' look.

Luxury liner and barges, also a repeat from a previous post, but better with an ‘aged’ look.

Next post: In keeping with the aged photo theme, a digression to a link that goes even further back – and to a much newer one.