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重庆
Chóngqìng 2005

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         After lunch, we flew to Chongqing (formerly called Chunking), which was Chiang Kai Shek`s capital during the Sino-Japanese war. It is mountainous, with steep streets, surrounding a confluence of two rivers. Because of the immense Three Gorges dam, several hundred miles to the south, the Yangtze has risen 120 feet, and will continue rising another 30 feet by 2009, when the lake will have filled. As a result, much of the city has been re-built (and is still being re-built) on higher ground. There are 30 million people in the metropolitan area and almost seven million in the city. (There are 170 metropolitan areas in China with over one million inhabitants.) We walked through the old city, with Ming residences, shops, and a tea house where we had a performance by string and woodwind quartets playing classical Chinese music. We also visited the Stilwell Museum, in the former residence of General Joseph Stilwell, who assisted Chiang Kai Shek. After checking out of the hotel, we had dinner near the docks, and boarded the Victoria Katerina, for our cruise down the river.    -    George Ruff

A Local Grey Market


Szechuan Peppers at a local grey Market      
photo © Lance Nevard
Bacon butcher in the Grey Market     
photo © L Nevard
Grey market egg vendor     
photo © L Nevard
     After checking in at our hotel, the more energetic members of our group went off with our local guide, Ken, to explore the local neighborhood. After winding through a few residential streets, we came out on a commercial road. The people gathered around us, staring in amazement. They couldn't understand what a group of tourists were doing in their neighborhood, which was off the beaten path for foreigners. Several of us went into the grey market. I found a wonderland. The next afternoon, I got a chance to return to this market, alone, for about half an hour. While I could hardly speak to these people, their friendship was very apparent. No one would let me take their picture, till the butcher, in the photo above, said "OK". When he saw his image, the others, excepting the egg merchant, shown to the upper right, were suddenly eager to be photographed, as well. The spice merchant kept giving me samples of spices to taste and we all laughed at the faces I made. Then I hurried back toward the hotel... Stall of a Spice Merchant     
photo © L Nevard
Girl in a window     
photo © L Nevard
...I was rushing through the streets, when I saw this shot. I signed to this young woman that I wanted to take her picture and she happily agreed. After taking the photo, I turned to show her the image on the camera`s monitor, but she was not in the window. I was startled to find her standing next to me, looking at the screen. We both laughed at my surprise, then I ran the 75 meters to the hotel entrance, just in time to catch the bus, to the ship that would take us down the Yangtze River. - LN

(for more about the market and the girl in the window...go to Chongqing 2007)


The Stilwell Museum


    This is a view of the General Stilwell Musuem located on Yangtze River in Chongqing. It is taken from the upper gardens and shows both the General's Headquarters Building and the steep river bank. There is a monorail train passing through in the upper left corner. General Stilwell is revered to this day by the Chinese for is efforts at fighting the Japanese during World War II, when he commanded two Chinese armies against the Japanese in Burma.
    Joseph Warren Stilwell (1883-1946) graduated from West Point in the Spring of 1904. He visited China in 1911, but was first assigned from 1920 to 1923 as an assistant military attache in Beijing. During this period, Stilwell learned the language and culture by walking the hinterlands. His knowledge of China and his fluency lead to his appointment as a military Attache at the U.S. Embassy in Nanjing in 1935, a post he held until 1939 when he was called home and organized the Seventh Division at Fort Ord, California. Stilwell was the only U.S. General Officer knowledgable about chinese affairs and languages at the outbreak of World War II.
Beautiful gardens at the Stilwell Museum     
photo © Charles Nygard
In 1942 President Roosevelt chose him to become his personal representive as Chief of Staff to Generalissimo Chang Kai Shek. Known as "Vinegar Joe," Stilwell feuded with many U.S. Officers, as he was given conflicting command duties in the China, Burma and India Theater (CBI Theater). Due to personal disagreements with Chang Kai Shek over the conduct of the war and distribution of weapons and duties between the Nationalists and Communists, President Roosevelt recalled General Stilwell in October 1944. Stilwell was known among his troops for his personal motto, "Illegitimi Non Carborundum," or "Don't let the Bastards grind you down."


Chongqing and the Yangtze River from the Stilwell Museum gardens     
photo © Charles Nygard
    Here we see modern Chongqing and the Yangtze River from the gardens of the Stilwell Museum. This photo reveals the extent to which the city has been transformed in recent years. Construction of a modern light rail commuter line can be seen on the left side of the river (east), with boats aiding in the ongoing work. The requirements of many bridges spanning the river, and the modern apartment and high rise buildings in the distance, show the effort required to provide for the estimated 7.5 million inhabitants of the city. A commercial center appears to arise on the right river bank (west) and a mono-rail winds its way through the water front. In the foreground, you can see the buildings of old Chongqing with modern structures rising among them. Chongqing is the largest of the four provincial level municipalities and the only one in western China. Most of its 32 million or more residents live out side of the urban center. Chongqing is a resettlement center for the Three Gorges Dam Project. Called "China's gateway to the west," Chongqing is at the confluence of the Jailing and Yangtze Rivers and was the first inland commercial port open to foreigners (1891). From 1937 to 1945, it was the provisional capital of the Republic of China.
    During this time it earned the distinction of becoming the most heavily bombed city in world history at the hands of the Japanese Air Force. During WW II the city was industrialized for producing war materials. Today it remains a major producer of industrialized goods. The region is rich in minerals, coal and natural gas. Among its products are motor vehicles, aluminum and chemicals. It is a major producer of rice and fruits, as well as a center for commercial and industrial foreign investment. Chongqing is a major transportation center today. While remaining an important river port, it is the juncture of seven railways (two under construction), three major highways and an international airport.It is the only major Chinese city without significant numbers of bicycles, due to the hilly terrain produced by the rivers. It even has flying cable cars, just like New York City, to traverse the rivers. Chongqing is considered a semi-tropical area with the climate varying from 0 to 102 F. There are two monsoon seasons and the winters are generally wet and warm. While it seldom snows, most winter days are foggy and polluted. Generally, the rest of the year is quite humid, resulting in a haze which covers the city most of the time. - C. Nygard


Chóngqìng Old Town

Private courtyard in Old Chongqing     
photo © L Nevard
Laundry Poles and Tile Roofs     
photo © L Nevard
Chickens in old Chongqing     
photo © L Nevard
    We went off to see the hutong of old Chongqing, with its winding maze of alleys, streets, stairways and restaurants. Picturesque is too weak a description for this experience, but living in this reality has to be very difficult.
    I had to wait for all of our group to clear out of the courtyard, but was rewarded when this lady peeked round the doorway. I felt like a time traveler. The shots of the laundry and chickens were taken less than 30 feet from the courtyard, and I got some other good images, that I probably will never post on this site.
We can see this woman struggling with the heavy lunch,
as she climbs up the stairs.    -    Charles Nygard
Heavy lunch in Chongqing     
photo © C Nygard

Ardent discussion over lunch     
photo © C Nygard

Garbage handling in the narrow streets of old Chongqing     
photo © C Nygard
Typical view of the alleyways of old Chongqing     
photo © L Nevard
Window gratings - old Chongqing     
photo © L Nevard


Chóngqìng People's Square


Chongqing`s People`s Square     
photo © C Nygard

Friendly Faces in Chongqing`s People`s Square     
photo © L Nevard
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