Sunday, May 22, 2011

A visit to the Gandantegchenling monstery and city walk

The day opened to a fine sunny morning, not to cold not to hot. Perfect weather for a walk in town.
Right after breakfast, we went out in search of scissors first. Andrea has promised to cut my hair as short as i want them and i needed to get the tools. :) We made a detour to the post office to send you folks out there some cards. We got some really nice ones and the stamps at the same place too. The scissors were easy to locate, easier than a hair salon.
A giant coke bottle on the facade of a clock tower is a big highlight.
Just as we were returning we met Chris in the driveway, he was just checking in. Peter has still not had his luggage delivered.
The team then met at 12 noon to walk to the monastery and have some food. I was planning to not eat much that day. I bought myself some juice and had that all along.
The monastery was some way off and the walk to it was pleasant. We waited for a bit at the department store where Andrea and Chris got their mug shots taken for immigration. That is a mandatory item on the list, to register yourself at the nearest office.
I remembered the Buddhist places i had seen in Ladakh as soon as i set my eyes on Gandantegchenling. The structure is all wood and the Buddha statue stands tall, about 5 stories high. There are about 125 monks in residence in the campus and they have some temples as we as a library there. A Datsan is a school teaching particular subjects like tantric services, traditional medicine, yoga, etc and there are several datsans attached to Gandantegchenling.
We spun the prayer wheels there, must have been about a 100 of them.
It was back towards the hotel at about 3 and a pit stop at the Amsterdam cafe where the team had lunch/beers. We plan to go back there tonight.
Now i am just waiting on the hair cut to happen. I have not had hair this long as far as i can remember and it is getting longer by the day, or so i feel. :) I'll just have a buzz cut to keep it practical and by the time we are done, it'll be back to the normal length i keep. convenient!
So don't be surprised to see the GI Jane look photos of me from tomorrow onwards. :)
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