Manhattan Monday 40 – Historic Seaport

The South Street Seaport  (and here for Wikipedia) is a going concern in Manhattan where Fulton Street meets the East River.  It  includes Pier 17 and buildings around and landward of it. It appears from the website link that it will look very different by 2017.  I must visit again!

South Street Seaport Museum

South Street Seaport Museum

In 2014 there was a museum, some nautical craftwork and a ship, the name of which I did not note. We tend to be walking tourists rather than gawking tourists so we didn’t go into the museum.

South Street Seaport Museum buildings

South Street Seaport Museum buildings

The sign reads: "WORK IN PROGRESS - Figurehead for the ...." and the rest seems to have been rubbed out!

The sign reads: “WORK IN PROGRESS – Figurehead for the ….” and the rest seems to have been rubbed out!

A ship in need of a figurehead?

A ship in need of a figurehead?

On the riverside itself, near the ferry terminal, was this service, positively reinforcing the idea of carrying your own water bottle.

East River water station.

East River water station.

I must go down to the seas again.

Looking down George Street from the Halifax Parade

Looking down George Street from the Halifax Parade

As I stood in Halifax’s Grand Parade (square) looking down George Street to the harbour, I was thinking of the WordPress weekly photo challenge “Descent” and the first words of Masefield’s poem came to me.

Sea Fever
BY JOHN MASEFIELD
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking,
 
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
 
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

We had gone to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the weekend. We took the ferry from Wood Islands, PEI, to Caribou, Nova Scotia; it was cold and windy and there were no fishing boats in the harbours or ships on the Northumberland Strait.

Fifty years ago, at the foot of George street, a dock, boats and ships would have been visible. In late October now, in Halifax, ships are few and far between. All the yachts and tourist excursion boats and the Bluenose II have been put away for the winter. The cruise season is over. The container port and the Coast Guard docks are beyond the downtown.

So, these are photos of boats, not ships; but the sailors on them do go down to the sea. In the background both of these pictures, you can see ships on the Dartmouth side of Halifax Harbour where the “working” aspect of seafaring continues.

A harbour pilot.

A harbour pilot.

Crew returning from a ship anchored further out the harbour.

Crew returning from a ship anchored further out the harbour.

Hong Kong Victoria Peak

Turned loose in Hong Kong, we first headed for the subway to the waterfront in Kowloon, took a Star Ferry (in a subsequent post) across the harbour to Hong Kong, and climbed the steep Hong Kong streets to the entrance of the tram which takes you to the top of Victoria Peak.

You emerge in a touristy building….from which you can see down the mountain.

View from inside the inverted pyramid at the end of the funicular railway.

View from inside the inverted pyramid at the end of the funicular railway.

You can ride escalators to the top of the building – if you have paid the extra fee to do so. We didn’t.

Those who paid for a better view, get it.

Those who paid for a better view, get it.

Alternatively you can walk around a path just below the peak and look across to Kowloon, down on the densely populated business centre of the north-facing part of Hong Kong Island, or westwards to the shipping lanes.

Looking over built up Hong Kong towards Kowloon and the New Territories.

Looking over built up Hong Kong towards Kowloon and the New Territories.

Looking over built up Hong Kong towards Kowloon and the New Territories.

Looking over built up Hong Kong towards Kowloon and the New Territories.

That must be one expensive piece of real estate!

That must be one expensive piece of real estate!

From the west side of Victoria Peak was another shopping area and viewing platforms towards the west, where it was quite hazy over the China Sea.

From the west side of Victoria Peak was another shopping area and viewing platforms towards the west, where it was quite hazy over the China Sea.

Next Hong Kong Post: the Star Ferries.

Hong Kong – Hotel Views

At last I have come to the last destination on my 21 day tour of China. Hong Kong was less smoggy than anywhere else we had been, though there was a haze as the day heated up.

The hotel as seen from a lovely park which we crossed on our way to the subway station.

The hotel as seen from a lovely park which we crossed on our way to the subway station.

We stayed at l’Hotel Nina et Convention Centre in the New Territories, not on Hong Kong Island, nor in Kowloon, which lies between the New Territories and Hong Kong Island. Our fellow tour-ists also stayed there and ate breakfast there, but we were free to tour Hong Kong on our own time and according to our own tastes.

The hotel consisted of two towers, with a bridge at the 51st floor. I think we were either just below or just above that floor.

The hotel consisted of two towers, with a bridge at the 51st floor. I think we were either just below or just above that floor.

Half way up the rise to our room, we had to change elevators – somewhere around the 44th floor. The elevator lobby at that height looked westward and southwest towards sea lanes and shipping. Most of the following photos were taken out of windows so you will see reflections in some of the corners.

Looking west towards Lantau Island and HK airport.

Looking west towards Lantau Island and HK airport.

The land to the right of the bridge is called Tsing Yi

The land to the right of the bridge is called Tsing Yi

Looking southwest past Gin Drinkers' Bay and towards Rambler Channel. (Don't you believe everything on Google Maps?)

Looking southwest past Gin Drinkers’ Bay and towards Rambler Channel. (Don’t you believe everything on Google Maps?)

This photo was taken at ground level while walking to the subway and it shows another section of the highway which appears in the lower left of the two previous photos.

This photo was taken at ground level while walking to the subway and it shows another section of the highway which appears in the lower left of the two previous photos.

From the same elevator lobby you could also see south towards a densely populated city where building was going on everywhere.

The building on the left is the same one as on the right of  the second photo

The building on the left is the same one as on the right of the second photo

From our room we could see south and eastwards towards the mountains of the New Territories.

The New Territories.

The New Territories.

The New Territories.

The New Territories.

Looking down, you could see the hotel’s amenities, but we never went!

Expensive real estate for a pool and tennis courts.

Expensive real estate for a pool and tennis courts.

This dining table seats at least 25. We breakfast buffet clients didn’t get to sit there!

Longer than my house is wide!

Longer than my house is wide!

Next Hong Kong post: Victoria Peak

Big Boats on the Yangtze

Hundreds of big boats passed us in both directions on the Yangtze River cruise.

Cruise ships….

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Up close and personal with a cruise ship tied up next to us.  Despite the moderate humidity, laundry did dry in 18-24 hours.

Up close and personal with a cruise ship tied up next to us. Despite the moderate humidity, laundry did dry in 18-24 hours.

Barges with cargo that wasn’t always identifiable….

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Mid-sized brightly painted tour/cruise ships….

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There were ships acting as gangways between the land and the cruise ships – as was this one, otherwise a bit of a wreck.

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Next post: a change-up: San Francisco.

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