Wednesday - October 30th - Flight to Lhasa

This morning we're up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the plane to Lhasa at 7:30 a.m.

View from airplane window
of Tibet

Lhasa River

We have the rest of the day to get acclimated to the high altitude and we certainly need it having flown from sea level to 12,000 feet. I have a mild headache and Seth is really suffering from the lack of oxygen. Seth buys some oxygen at the hotel. It's not very cold. It was colder in Beijing.

We take a very slow walk along the main street in the evening and have dinner in the restaurant between the big tourist restaurant and the dumpling fast food. We have yak butter tea and entrees that feature yak meat. Chie-Mie and Earl go shopping for a hat while Seth & I sit on a bench to catch our breath. A passing Tibetan family stop to say hello (the one word they know in English) so I take some pictures with my Polaroid to give to them and they reciprocate by posing for a group shot.

Seth shows off his digital camera

Thanks for the polaroid

Thursday - October 31st - Lhasa

Lhasa, being on Beijing time starts the day later around 9:30 a.m. We have a breakfast consisting of lots of warm milk, peanuts and huge slices of bread. Our guide, Frank, is flexible about our itinerary which had Potala scheduled for today. Since Potala has a lot of steps going up and down, I asked that we tour it tomorrow when we're more acclimated to the altitude. Seth isn't feeling well enough to go out this morning. We go to Tibet's spiritual center, Jokhang Temple, which was built in 647 at the urging of the king's two wives.

Before the temple pilgrims are doing prostrations, which look sort of like push ups
from a kneeling position to flat on the ground.

According to Frank, some Tibetan Pilgrims do this all day long - a thousand prostrations. There is a long line of devotees going into the temple. They carry containers of yak butter and scoop spoonfuls into the lighted burners throughout the temple. They also give white scarves as offerings. It is dark inside and some of the prayer rooms are walk-in-closet size and tight with people. Instead of lunch, we go back to the hotel and rest for an hour. Seth joins us for the afternoon trip to Norbilinka, which is the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lamas. It is a pretty park with a small zoo. We play toss the bread into the bear mouth and Earl lets the deer nibble on him.

View near the guest quarters at Norbilinka

Street scene - the elderly lady is holding a prayer wheel.
The young lady is inviting people to enter the fast food restaurant.

A bicycle pedicab, an alternative to taking a taxi.
Note the face mask to keep from breathing the dust and soot in the air.

By the beauty parlor.

Braids and hair ornament.

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