Three Gorges Dam--August 29, 2004--Three Gorges Dam, Victoria Queen Cruise Ship


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At mid-day today, we headed out of Shanghai to the airport and along the way saw a street banner for The Phantom of the Opera (1), a show that seems to be in all the major cities of the world.  We passed by the Shanghai Exhibition Center (2), a gift from Stalin during the period of friendly Soviet-China relations and the Shanghai Museum (3) which we visited two days earlier.


We flew  the 600 mile flight from Shanghai to Yichang, a city of about 4 million. From there, we boarded a bus and proceeded to the Three Gorges Dam for a tour.  As we made the drive, the countryside became considerably more mountainous (5-7) when we neared at the dam-site.  The dam is a spectacular site (8-48); some of its particulars are:

The dam has an attractive visitor's area (34-41) from which one can climb to a lookout point and see the entire complex.  The visitor's area also has a huge book sculpture detailing specifics of dam construction (34-35).


The dam is not without controversy since environmentalists have a number of concerns and engineers debate whether silt deposits will eventually impact its effectiveness.  The early construction also experienced numerous concrete cracks but guides now say that problem has been corrected.


After touring the dam site, we again boarded a bus and traveled to Maoping (51-53), a town of about 30,000, composed primarily of persons re-located from other areas, flooded by the rising water levels from the dam.  Maoping serves as a temporary port during dam construction.  In Maoping, we took a cable car down to water level to board our Yangtze cruise ship, the Victoria Queen.  Since it was dinner time, we went to our cabins and immediately to dinner, after which, the crew put on its nightly show (55-58).


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