Sunday, March 25, 2012

Back on the Train

And it's back on the train from Zhaotong, Yunnan to Yibin, Sichuan; one of those slow trains which stops often on the single-tracked line to let faster passenger and freight trains pass. After we complained about a group of smokers, the conductor led us to an empty car at the far end of the train. Cool. Quiet is good as John was up in the middle of the previous night with "stomach troubles".

A few folks came on the car at the first stop; Zhaotong North. They had bought apples and chicks in Zhaotong and were taking them home. A few hours later the car was taken over by a large group returning from an outing. They shouted and scurried to put their unfrozen, just purchased sacks of meat next to open windows, then somewhat settled down to the usual pastimes: sleeping, playing cards, and eating sunflower seeds, punctuated by occasional shouting. You are never alone for long in China. Haha.

Located at the confluence of major rivers and with a busy downtown right where the rivers meet, Yibin reminded me of Pittsburgh, PA and Chongqinq, China. One day we walked around the city center checking out the temples, churches, old guild halls, and the rivers. The Art Deco Clock Tower, built in 1938 is one of the most impressive Art Deco monuments we've ever seen. Wow!

The next day we day-tripped 20 kms downriver by bus to Li Zhuang Ancient Town, famous for its distilled liquor and old quarter. Also Shanghai's Tongji University relocated here from 1940 to 1946 during the Japanese occupation of Eastern China. Judging from the number of restaurants and snack stalls and souvenir shops, Li Zhuang must get many tourists on holidays, but not the day we were there.

The empty car.
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Chicks in the square boxes and apples in the baskets.
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Heading to Sichuan.
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The Jinsha River in Yibin.
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The confluence of the Min River (left - clear) and the Jinsha River (right- brown) to form the Yangtze.
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Facade of one of the Catholic Churches with mosaic tile work that is also seen on Guild Halls and Buddhist temples in this area.
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The other Catholic Church. Btw, both Catholic churches were "open" when we walked by as are most Catholic churches around the world, but rarely in China.
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The Art Deco Clock tower - 1938.
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Rain ready moto-taxis.
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Li Zhuang photos:

Card game in an old Li Zhuang courtyard.
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Guild Hall Stage.
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A vat at a distillery. I had a taste of the finished product - smooth!
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Temple cupola with mosaic tiles.
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Old Town - Li Zhuang
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Blooming turnips on both sides of the Yangtze River at Li Zhuang
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Octagonal Pavilion outside Li Zhuang.
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1 comment:

Crash Eddy said...

The train track appears to have both a tripleback http://g.co/maps/vfqv2 and a loop through tunnels http://g.co/maps/26vgc but the satellite views don't seem to be clear enough to find the track. Quite a long trip.