Tuesday, October 05, 2010

potala palace, tibet

We saw Potala Palace yesterday and it was amazing. We hiked up all the way to the top!!! They only allow pictures outside, but once you go inside to go up the stairs and enter the temple residences, no cameras are allowed. We did sneak in a few, but the temples are very strict. I didn't even want pictures of the residences or the tombs, I just wanted to take pictures of all the butter candles and the private monks meditating, but could not. oh well. On the platform, we were able to see all of Tibet from the rooftop of Potala Palace, the highest point in Tibet.
Climbing Potala was ridiculously hard. We are 3600 meters above sea level, so a flight of stairs is about 10 times as hard. Since all i do i climb stairs when I'm traveling, i thought it would be a lot easier to climb Potala. Nope. I was huffing and puffing my way up, and it wasn't even hot or humid!! Breathing is ragged here from the lack of oxygen, but when you get to the top, oh boy, is it worth it! Here is Kat dying at the first level of the temple.

We are on the roof top and not allowed to take pictures. Kat made this face and i couldn't resist it. I snapped one super quick and hid my camera. Thank god for the G10 and its inconspicuous qualities. Kat then took a pic of my side when she had the camera dangled on her neck. It's one of my favorite pics on this trip so far...mostly because we were forbidden from taking any up this high. *_*

Inside Potala, we walked through the whole place and saw all the tombs of the old Dalai Lamas. The tombs are magnificent, all sheeted in gold except for the 7th Dalai Lama. His tomb is made completely of gold.  The 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Dalai Lamas are in Potala Palace.

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