Arrived in Lhasa yesterday. This gave us a necessary altitude push with the 3553m. In the evening we could see the outside of Potala Palace which means “land of paradise”. The palace was established in the 7th century. The town of Lhasa can easiest be described as two environments: the older parts and extremely new parts providing almost anything you need.
I felt the altitude with a slight heavy head this morning but by lunch things felt normal with a 90-95% oxygenerate and 55-60 BPM.
During the morning hours we experienced the older part of Lhasa and were so lucky to see the Barkhor middle circle praying ceremony. The individual praying procedure reminded me of some yoga poses, however the single pose they do could go on for as much as two hours. The Tibetans have three different outdoor praying procedures: Barkhor, Linghor and Tsekor.
It’s very easy to get in contact with the Tibetans, a smile to someone and you have one back immediately.
Jokhang temple and Samye monestary in southern Tibet are central places for Buddhists in the world. We visited the Johang temple today and it was one of top experiences in my life. 110 monks live in this temple. Pilgrims come to the temple from all places. Inside we experienced an environment like an anthill with a mysterious and dark environment at first. Due to the praying procedure the premises was totally crowded but with people having one thing in common – the blessing from the Shakyamuni Buddha which is the present Buddha. The meeting with local people was touching to me with a feeling of warmth and spirituality. One of the local guides gave us a great historical lecture during the walk. I tried to make some notes but in the end I was just overwhelmed by the history of the Tibetans.
These days Lhasa is accessable by both airplane and fast domestic trains in China. Large investments are being made in infrastructure. Lots of people are moving in from the entire country which means that society is being mixed from many standpoints.
Today we also received the final go ahead from the local authority providing permissions for the Everest summit.
Life can’t be better right now 🙂