Jim's dream had been to see the Three Gorges of the Yangtze before they were completely flooded by the Three Gorges Dam. We had originally planned to go earlier, but between work, the initial challenges of retirement, and our relocation from Northern Virginia to Lexington, our trip was delayed until the fall of 2006. It was just in time because water was rapidly rising behind the dam. Following the link above takes you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site where the Three Gorges were on the tentative list prior to construction of the dam. I cannot say how much in the (pretty complicated) description is still above water.
We did a lot of research into tour providers but eventually chose Elderhostel because of their moderate price (all things considered) and itinerary. It turned out to be a good choice in general and we've taken several trips with them since.
The trip took over three weeks. We first flew to Los Angeles, where we spent the night and took a day to adjust and make sure we made our flight to Beijing. We also took the opportunity to rent a junker and go visit the Queen Mary, now docked in Long Beach and serving as a hotel, tourist trap, etc.
I've divided the pictures into several sections based on the places we stayed. Take the tour or pick and choose:
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