Monday, October 14, 2013

The kingdom of the Thunder Dragon: [Day 2]

 "We have to take courses and pass the exam to become a guide. But I am not stick to one company, I am a freelancer!" 

The day before our trek, we visited the Tiger's Nest. The monastery is really high in the mountains so it was more like a training for us.

the hiking path to the Tiger's Nest

As we were climbing up, our guide was telling us stories (I always feel skeptical when the unavoidable legends time comes but sometimes, when you're in the kinda "ah, let the guy talk" mood, it may be funny to hear them; that was that time) about the founder of the monastery. It turned out that some Guru guy came to Bhutan in the 7th century and felt that something was wrong with the place. Soon, he understood that people there didn't hear a word about Buddhism. And that helped him to realize that the town was full of the evil forces and so it was time to set things straight. 

"Did he forced people to convert to Buddhism?"
"No no, he just showed them the way.. And  subdued those who didn't like it."
"Every monk should visit it once in a lifetime to purify from sins because it's the holiest place, but I'm a guide so I have a great chance to visit it from time to time."

Well, I think, the Guru succeeded in his mission only because he could ride a flying tiger. Oh, wait a minute..

After we reached the Tiger's Nest, we found out that it was recently burnt down (the monks decided to lit up as many candles as possible to praise Buddha properly), so it had to be rebuilt (hi there, "cultural heritage preservation").

"Has Dalai Lama ever been to your country?"
"No. We are surrounded by China and aren't able to give him enough safety, enough guardianship to protect him from them. So, it's impossible for him to come."

we are close..

even closer..

whoa we're so close!

As it happened to be the time for the daily "let's sulk on Boyfriend", and the road turned so steeply down just before the temple, I got SO EMOTIONAL and even started to weep. But things got better when  we finally reached the temple. It looked very beautiful after all.

The next morning we were ready to start our trek.

P.S. Aww look at these baby stupas

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