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Adventures in Nepal, Part X: On the Mountaintop

Shanti Stupa consists of two levels.

The upper level features depictions of the Buddha at various stages of life.

The middle veranda offers spectacular views of Pokhara and the surrounding countryside.


In the center of the next photo, a narrow dirt road winds up the mountain. Visitors to the World Peace Pagoda who are unwilling or unable to climb a gazillion stairs have the option of driving up.

At the base of the pagoda, there are other patios at different levels.

In the shade of a temple tree, Emma and Elizabeth pause for a healthful repast…

…and then continue exploring the mountaintop.

What a colorful country!

Zen Emma is zen.

Smol Buddha.

“Should we explore over there?”

“Look at all those stairs.”

“Yeah…uh..maybe we shouldn’t disturb that guy trying to meditate.”

“Yeah, good point.”

And at last they headed back down the mountain in the golden light of afternoon.

To be continued!

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Adventures in Nepal IX: A Stairway to Heaven, Part B

When we last left Emma and Elizabeth, they were climbing approximately a hundred gajillion stairs up a mountainside to visit Pokhara’s World Peace Pagoda.

Our young heroes do not travel light.

I cannot imagine hauling that much weight up a mountain on purpose. Ah, the energy of youth.

They stopped for lunch at a precarious-looking establishment with great views of Lakeside.

And then, back to the trial by stairs. You have to earn the Pagoda.

Colorful Emma!

So. Many. Stairs.

A little Shiva temple along the way:

Surely we are almost to Heaven by now? Follow the light!

Adorable Elizabeth is adorable.

Almost there! The first glimpse of Shanti Stupa!

Zoom-lens shot of Lakeside.

AT LAST!

Shanti Stupa, the World Peace Pagoda.

M o a r . S t a i r s .

Sacred area: No shoes. Silence. Some well-earned selfies with the Buddha.

Much more to come!

Categories: Artwork, environment, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel, trees | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal IX: A Stairway to Heaven, Part A

These Nepal posts are starting to feel like a work of historical non-fiction, like revisiting a world not yet overtaken by pandemic. Covid-19 is sweeping the globe, changing everything in its path. In just a few short weeks the death toll has climbed into the tens of thousands and is still rising exponentially.

Even so, I enjoy writing these posts. They’re a sweet reminder of simpler days, and of the beauty still waiting to be explored once the danger has passed.

On January 22 – the same day that China’s government announced a citywide quarantine of Wuhan – Emma and Elizabeth visited Shanti Stupa, the World Peace Pagoda.

Getting to the Pagoda is no simple undertaking. It involves buses and boats and many, many, many stairs.

Good morning, Paljorling Camp!

Good morning, picturesque sheep!

Good morning, Elizabeth!

This is a public bus in Pokhara:

The girls took the bus back to Lakeside…

and back to Phewa Tal.

The white dome on the mountaintop is the World Peace Pagoda. You have to climb the mountain to reach it. Not to worry, there are stairs. Lots and lots of stairs.

To get to the mountain, the girls rented a boat.

There are eateries and other amenities near the landing. Here’s a typical restaurant.

Heh.

Anyway, they found the trailhead and started up the mountain.

So many stairs.

Looking back down at the lake. I like this pic because it sorta looks like the boat is floating in the sky.

A view of Lakeside from the trail. There’s the little island with the Japanese temple!

There are lots of little rest stops and stupas and shrines all the way up the mountain.

And I’ve just about reached the limit of how many images I can cram into one post without making it impossible for my low-bandwidth peeps to access. So…to be continued!

Categories: Covid-19, Death, environment, Friends, Health, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Adventures in Nepal VIII: Annapurna Natural History Museum

Good morning, Parljorling Camp!

Good morning, picturesque sheep!

I mistakenly posted bad info earlier about the recipients of the cameras and photography lessons. One of them is a Tibetan student, the other is a Nepali student. My apologies for the error.

The fourth and final class took place at the Annapurna Natural History Museum at Pokhara’s Prithivi Narayan Campus.

Ominous foreshadowing: this was January 21, the day the first case of Covid-19 was announced in the US. At that time the virus had made its way into the daily news cycles, but it was still mostly viewed as a China issue rather than a global problem. We thought we would see a handful of cases in other countries and then it would be contained and eliminated.

Anyway, Emma and Elizabeth collected the students and off they went.

Pretty view from the college campus.

Pretty sweet front door!

Elizabeth says the museums in Nepal are light on taxidermy and heavy on sculptures and painted images.

Lots and lots of birds and insects, though.

Their “lifelike” taxidermy displays are kind of terrifying/hilarious.

After the museum, back to town for lunch.

To be continued!

Categories: Animals, Artwork, Cats, Covid-19, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal, Part VII: Tal Barahi Temple

The next morning the sky was clear blue all the way to the horizon. And suddenly – HIMALAYAS.

The high triangular peak is Machhapuchchhre, a sacred mountain. The Nepali government doesn’t permit anyone to climb it.

Today’s photography lesson: mountainscapes.

After the class, Emma and Elizabeth took a boat ride out to Tal Barahi Temple on Phewa Tal’s little island.

Colorful Elizabeth is colorful.

The temple itself is small.

Elizabeth says that almost every temple she saw had fierce creatures like these guarding its entrance, always one male and one female.

FISH WATCH POINT

And back to shore.

To be continued!

Categories: Family, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel, Weather | Tags: | 1 Comment

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