Traveling on the Yangtze. August 6th ／长江之旅第一天
We are Brianna, Jianling, Xiaojiao and we are excited to tell you about our first full day on the ship along the Yangtze River!
We started off the day receiving a tour at the Ghost town of Fengdu which is 170 km east of Chongqing. We took a scenic chair lift up the side of a hill to get to the beginning of the many temples we would pass through. We then arrived at three bridges the outside two were for wealth and health and the middle was the Naihe bridge or bridge of judgement. Each student had to walk through individually, if they were considered evil they would fall into the pool in the middle. Fortunately all of the students were good people and no one got wet. We then passed Liaoyang and then the Baizi Temple which women went to, to pray to the Buddhas for fertility and wisdom for their children. We then traversed Huangquan road into the underworld. The ghosts of the town chose not to take us away as we all passed judgment at the Ghostly Gate Pass. The tour ended at the Palace of the Netherly Emperor (Emperor of the Underworld) who is known as Yama in order to reach the statue of Yama we had to pass by all of his daunting marshalls and advisors. We then got to view statues of the 18 levels of Hell and the torture methods used within.
In the afternoon we discussed the importance of biodiversity in ecosystem productivity and stability. We delved into this matter further by discussing and listening to presentations on the biodiversity of the plants of the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze and the benefits and problems with putting an economic value on biodiversity. The rest of the afternoon we enjoyed and viewed the landscape surrounding the Yangtze river taking notes on the topography and human development and how that might affect the health of the river.
In the evening we visited the temple of Zhang Fei a famous General of the Shu state and one of three heroes of the Three Kingdom era (220-280 AD). The temple was built right after Zhang Fei was killed when a fisherman saw him in a dream and the next morning he gathered his countrymen to build a temple to commemorate him. It has been destroyed and rebuilt several times and was most recently rebuilt during the Ming and Qing dynasty in the 1700s. We enjoyed discovering and learning about the temple and appreciating the night view of the town of Yun Yang.