Tibetan Pilgrim
On Pilgrimage in the Land of Snows: Visiting the Sacred Sites of Tibet

 Mount Kailash

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Beijing 27 July 2004

After spending a night on the floor at the airport in Delhi and nearly being irretrievably lost in the airport at Shanghai where the ground staff broke into tears because they had all apparently just started working there that day and without any training, we arrived in China's capitol. A sprawling city and except for the signs in Chinese one that looks amazingly like a city in the US. We've done the "sights": Forbidden City (lots of red walls and yellow-tiled roofs), Tiannamen Square (built on a scale for giants--vast open space), the beautiful Lama Temple with all of its Buddhist statues and Tibetan thangkas (lovely place but very crowded) and yesterday the GREAT Wall. It was raining as we toiled up and down the wall. There were no tourists at all because of the weather I suppose. You could hear the wind hissing as its swept the vast expanses of Mongolia on one side and china on the other side. Only bird calls disturbed the silence. But if you are not into rock climbing and rough paths the Wall is not for you. I did not read the brochures very closely before we got there. At one point I yelled to Ray, "I did not know we were going to do this much mountaineering!" Ray yelled back (he is always ahead of me), "It says on the t-shirts 'I CLIMBED the Great Wall!" The lesson is always to read the adverts closely. I made it the 10 km though and it was worth the soaking and the sweat in the end.

So we leave for Wu Tai Shan, the five-peaked mountain, tomorrow morning. Bye-bye Beijing!


Text Copyright © 2004 Christine Skarda