We were walking downtown Xian. It's so hot you could fry rice on the pavement, which only intensified every dirty, rotten smell, which managed to emanate from every building and alley you passed. The odors were enough to gag you. Running from each building under a grate in the sidewalk, is a drain with god only knows what it contains. Hope you have a visualization . . . . .
As we stepped over one of these foul smelling drains, we heard a loud "whoosh", and we glanced behind us just in time to see a nicely dressed lady get doused with . . . . I don't know what. There's not enough Purell in China to have saved the day.
We flew into Chongqing midday on the 31st, and drove through town directly to the boat. Chongqing, and the hundreds of square miles surrounding it, are immersed in a sea of smog. The heavy smog followed us thru the first day of the cruise, however we awoke the big "three gorges day" to a clear blue sky with mild temps.
We were able to see the millions of relocated people as we traveled downstream.
We arrived at the three gorges dam the next day, only to find where the smog had gone. Best description - the dam is 1.4 miles long. I stood above one end of it and could barely see the complete spillway which would be about one mile out!
Oh yea, it's one huge dam too!!
The boat was packed, actually overbooked, thus we met many interesting people and travelers from all parts of the world.
We arrived in Beijing late last night and are staying right in the middle of the hutong area in a traditional old hotel. Today we walked the Imperial Palace, also called The Forbidden City, which should be called The Forgotten Palace, and then the beautiful Beihai Park & Lake.