Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The Potala Palace
Today we had one more palace to tour with the group and guide. This was, however, no ordinary palace. Some of you may have heard of the Potala Palace. My parents woke me up early and I was extremely tired but I did not mind. Today I would step where many Dali Llamas have stepped before me. The Potala Palace was the winter home for the fourteen Dali Llamas. The current Dali Llama (the fourteenth) has not been allowed to live in his palace since his exile to India in the 1950s.
We entered the palace walls through a small security room where we walked through a metal detector and had our bags screened by X-ray. We grabbed our camera and back packs and feasted our eyes on the stunning sight before us. Up on a small hill was a massive, amazing, and beautiful building. The walls were red and white and yak hair banners with auspicious symboling hung from the major door ways. We walked up long white Tibetan stairways till we reached the beginning of the palace. We followed our guide through mazes of rooms, all with detailed stories. Happily the Chinese government allowed only one hour in the palace. I enjoyed the magnificent golden art, and was thrilled by the stories I heard. Cameras were not allowed in the heart of the palace.
The palace was over and I had math in my future. On the way home from the palace, we took a quick stop to outfit our kayaks and gear. I was glad to have a boat, but I was eager to get home to knock off some math problems. Tomorrow we leave on a week long river trip and this is my last assignment. I spent the rest of the day confined to my math work. In the evening, we went out to dinner with the Kayak gang. We were going to one of the best pizza places in town. After a dinner of pizza and a mango milkshake I came home do write my blog. Tomorrow we will hit the river. I will be treking, boating, our driving for the next week, so you will probably not hear from me until the 29th.
Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!
Addendum from Tim and Cat:
We will be off-line, on the river, until the 29th, at which point Rohan will post that we have arrived back in Lhasa safely. Early the AM of the 30th, we're leaving Lhasa for an overland trip to Nepal (apprx 3 - 4 days.) Supposedly, there will be internet along the way at guesthouses, but probably not wi-fi, which may make posting more difficult.... Once we enter Nepal, but before arriving in Katmandu, we will be trekking for 10 - 12 days, also without internet. We will finally arrive in Katmandu, where internet should be more consistently available, on our about Oct. 14th. Please don't worry, we'll post as soon as possible!!