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CHINA | Wednesday, 31 October 2007 | Views [748]

I can't believe we made it to Tibet!

It seemed to be impossible but we met a tour agent who gave us a permit and booked our tickets. Air China all the way. Airport was a breeze except when we had to go back to check the knife we used to cut our apples. Lhasa...it's a pretty great feeling to read your boarding ticket.

The journey after landing was 2 hours by bus. I fell asleep shortly. I hear Kelly say, " Rip wake up" a couple of times then "you don't want to miss this" So I look out the window and I saw the most incredible thing ever. It was the most unique grand structure I had ever seen and quite possibly one of the most photographed. It was Potala Palace. One of the most jaw-dropping structures I have ever seen. It was a cream color with some red.

I couldn't believe our bus pulled up right next to it...and then I couldn't believe I was marching with Tibetan pilgrams from other regions within a few seconds clockwise around Potala. At that time I knew it was a circuit but little did I know at that time this would be the way we moved for a long time- clockwise. There was strange silence around Lhasa...you could almost sense that things were not quite right.

I became emotional when I looked to my left and saw a very displaced family. In that moment I felt the plyth of the Tibetan people. I saw in the grandmothers eyes all they must have had to endure. The poverity, persecution, and lack of freedom. I have never in my life have ever felt such compassion and sorrow. It struck so quickly. I have not felt like that ever in my life. It was deep and the tears rolled endlessly.

We visited Jokhang Temple. The Mecca of Tibetan Bhuddism in Lhasa. We snuck into the pilgram line and visited every shrine clockwise. We watched as they poored yak butter and prayed to pillars. It was one of the most amazing experiences. In the evening the monks chanted to one another. Outside people prayed with sliding blocks in a push up position. Everyone carried prayer beads. The outfits of the tibetan woman was regionally distinct. Some had 108 braids in their hair as do prayer beads. Interestingly enough in Nepal at the Shiva temple..108 shivlings exist. They were fascinated to see an indian.....they felt connected. Religion is such an important part of their life and they see Hinduism and India as the motherland. As well many family and friends escaped to the Nepal/Indian region so they felt deeply.

We spent way too much time in Lhasa waiting for jeep to leave to cross the border. Monestary after monestary....stupa after stupa...I was stupad out...Life in Lhasa was tough.

The pilgrimage bus- Kelly and I went to the oldest tibetan monestary. We snuck onto a 6 a.m bus with tibetans. It was a journey. Kelly offered them Yak jerky. I think they warmed up after this. One was listening to Britney Spears on the phone which I found shocking.

Oh, Tibet to be continued

Tags: adventures, tibet

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