Chongqing last day! To the Yangtze cruise boat. August 5th ／再见，重庆！开始长江之旅。
Post from Team Loon August 5th, 2010
Our day began in the residence hall at Southwest University. To our dismay we had to pack up and leave our beloved home of the past two days. Breakfast was fantastic as usual, we enjoyed boiled eggs, mantou, and rice and green bean porridge.
After breakfast, we loaded onto our bus and headed to Jinyun Mountain to see the national reservation and to learn about local flora. A particularly interesting species was the “Chinese Yew” which is a class one protected species currently worth 1million RMB. It became so rare because the bark of the tree was used in many medicines, including cancer treatments. Another species we learnt about was in the Symplocaceae family called the Symplocos laurina, which is used to make soap. We also learnt about some local fauna including a toad in the family Bufonidae which is toxic if eaten. And as you can see in the picture included in today’s blog post, our group member Merlin found a praying mantis. We were also fortunate enough to see and enter a few temples, which were on the Mountain. On our way out we also got a quick archery lesson from one of the locals. Merlin was actually quite the marksman.
Next we ate lunch back at Southwest University, which was delicious as expected. After lunch we visited the Three Gorges Museum. Thanks to the Deputy Mayor’s Office, special arrangements were made for us to have a guided English tour of three of the exhibits. The exhibits were called “The Glorious Three Gorges” “Ancient Ba & Yu” and “Chongqing – the City Road” One statue that was particularly interesting to us was of “Bamanzi – The Loyal and Brave” who was depicted as severing his own head with a sword for the benefit of the state. This statue was found in the “Ancient Ba & Yu” exhibit.
After the tour ended, we were able to explore some more exhibits including “Sculptures of the Han Dynasty” and “Coins of Various Dynasties.” Following the museum, each team was given time to explore a local market and have dinner in our teams. Team Loon decided to eat at “CSC” which is a local fast food joint. After dinner, we experienced minor transportation issues and to our good fortune we were able to spend more time in the market while waiting for another bus.
Our day concluded with the entire class boarding a cruise ship on the Yangtze River. It will be our home for three days and two nights. We enjoyed the fresh night air on the lido deck with some refreshments and great company. We had a very full day and are looking forward to even more adventures here in China.