In the midst of packing and planning for our final trek from China to America (at least for the foreseeable future), Sarah and I decided to take a couple of days away from Chengdu. So on Tuesday we hopped on a train and traveled some four hours to Chongqing. The train ride was during the afternoon and allowed us glimpses into the beautiful scenery and culture of rural China.
This city is very different from Chengdu and reminded us of cities in the US. The convergence of the Yangtze and Jailing rivers puts the downtown area of the city on a peninsula, not unlike Midtown Manhattan; the steep inclines away from the rivers are on par with what is seen in San Francisco.
The city is also a starting point for many of the cruises down the Yangtze river, on which is found the recently-built Three Gorges Dam. We didn’t have enough time (or money) to take a multi-day cruise, but did enjoy an evening cruise and some views of the city.
On Wednesday we headed to a number of museums in the city. I never learned about Chongqing in a history class, but the importance of the city cannot be understated: the city would be to the Pacific theater of WW2 what London was to the Atlantic theater. The Chinese made this their capital city as the Japanese had invaded the eastern portion of the country, so it was heavily bombed, but never invaded due to the mountainous terrain. We wandered around the Red Cliff museum and the adjacent living quarters for the Communist party members, at a truce with the Kuomingtang.
We also went to the ancient street and the Chongqing museum, which also contains the Three Gorges museum. Multiple pieces of rock, destined to be underwater due to the dam project, were excavated and moved to the museum.
The evening included a trip to the downtown area, which includes a Liberation Monument; we found it odd that the monument had a corporate sponsor:
Thursday took us to some parks and temples in and around the city, which afforded us some hazy views of the city.
It was a nice trip away from the pressures of moving, so prevalent in our apartment right now as seen by piles of stuff to sell or pack everywhere.