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We fly into Wuhan from Beijing. So far as we know, it's just some river port where we are going to board the ship for our Yangtze River cruise.

When we board the bus at the airport we learn that Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province and has a population of 7.5 million people. This is the first in a series of cities larger than New York that we have never heard of. The conclusion reached by our tour group is that if you have 1.2 billion people, you have to put them somewhere, so 8 million here, 8 million there, after a while, it starts to add up!

wuhan2.jpg (145003 bytes) wuhan3.jpg (165657 bytes) The bus ride into town confirms what the guide told us: this is the big city. For more pictures of everyday Wuhan, click here.
wuhan4.jpg (167596 bytes) wuhan5.jpg (122331 bytes) First stop is lunch. That sweet and sour fish is showing up fairly frequently and is always welcome. I have to move quickly to get a picture while there is still some left!
wuhan6.jpg (101497 bytes) wuhan7.jpg (149409 bytes) After lunch we go for a stroll in Donghu park, along the shores of East Lake. This was the inspiration for the lake at the Summer Palace in Beijing.
wuhan8.jpg (228344 bytes) wuhan9.jpg (178243 bytes) The park has a monument to Qu Yang, a 3rd century B.C. hedonistic philosopher.

We dub this planter "The world's largest bonsai."

wuhan12.jpg (120385 bytes) wuhan10.jpg (163564 bytes) We next visit the symbol of Wuhan, Yellow Crane Tower.
wuhan13.jpg (199417 bytes) wuhan11.jpg (179118 bytes) It sits in a park in the middle of town.
wuhan15.jpg (227791 bytes) wuhan14.jpg (134035 bytes) It has a fine view over the old city and out to the first bridge built across the Yangtze. The bridge is named "Yangtze Bridge No.1". When it was built, the long-haul trucks using it caused a permanent traffic jam. The city fathers solved the problem by lowering the tolls between midnight and 6 AM.
wuhan16.jpg (157650 bytes) wuhan17.jpg (151285 bytes) There is a line for the elevator down from the tower, so we decide to take the stairs. What a pleasant surprise! The middle floors are a museum displaying, among other things, these marvelous models of classic Chinese military and naval architecture.
wuhan18.jpg (164541 bytes) wuhan19.jpg (129374 bytes)
wuhan26.jpg (136290 bytes) wuhan25.jpg (154337 bytes) The view from the tower convinces us that Wuhan really is as large as they say.

On our way to the port we cross Yangtze Bridge No.1 and get a glimpse of the new bridge "Yangtze Bridge No. 2" 

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