|We arrived in Wuhan in late afternoon and discovered that this is a bit more like 'real' China. It was big and busy with awful traffic but a lot nicer than Xi'an.
We went straight from the airport to the Yellow Crane Tower. This is series of building with the main tower that was originally used for military reasons. This meant that there was a great view of the Yangtze river and Wuhan city from the top. It was interesting and very picturesque. The tower itself actually had a lift as it is not original. It had been destroyed multiple times over the years during different wars and kept being rebuilt. It is called the Yellow Crane Tower after a Chinese fairy tale.
From here we went to dinner and to the hotel which was nicer than the last one. We didn't try a massage here! Also, the beds definitely get firmer the further you go from Beijing.
The following morning we went straight to the Hubai Province Museum which was excellent. It's quite a new museum so everything had English information and this made a big difference. The museum contained artifacts like weaponry, pottery and the like from thousands of years ago. Unfortunately only one of the three building was open. The museum decided to choose today to move their collections around and closed two of the building.
This actually turned out quite well as the guide brought us to the Bonzai Garden. The name is a little misleading as the main part of this place is actually a museum to rocks and fossils. This was actually much better than it sounded. The buildings were all old Chinese style and contained a huge variety of crystals, limestone, jade and other rocks in natural and carved states. The variety of shapes, colours and sizes was amazing and we had a English speaking guide to help out. In the courtyard between the building was the Bonsai garden so it was all very picturesque and relaxing.
After this there was a 4.5 hour drive to Yichang to start our Yangtze cruise. The perceptive amongst you will notice that Wuhan is on the Yangtze so why go to Yichang? The part of the river from Wuhan to Yichang is so winding that it would take 28 hours to sail this or we can go by bus for 4.5 hours. So we start the cruise in Yichang!
Our last stop in Yichang before boarding the boat was the demonstration of embroidery, as practiced in the region. This was basically an attempt to sell stuff but was still interesting. The work was incredible, the best pieces looked like paintings but it was very expensive so we passed.