Creativity and Ramblings from the heart of NYC and around the World

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tuesday - To Lantau!!

The MTR (subway) ride was swift - perhaps an hour from our hotel to the last stop. Then we boarded a bus for the mountainous ride to the Monastery. The bus driver used the driving method “ if you can't find 'em, grind 'em”, and someone opened up a bag of Durian fruit. (The stinkiest fruit in the world...if you open it in some hotels, they'll kick you out!) After a while you do get used to the putrid smell...and since it was being eatten...the smell disappeared a little.

The bus seats are 3 on one side, 2 on the other... with an off-center aisle that you can't walk down straight and carry a bag without bumping folks (it's tiny!) Winding down the mountain all you can see is water as far as to can see in front...

It's a little overcast, so the view is a small bit clouded... there are shadows of mountains in the distance to the left and right. The bus crawls up the mountains and flies like the wind down them! The pass we are on is small, and in some spots two vehicles can only pass each other at slow speeds with one vehicle pulled over at a stand still.

This is the first view we saw as we arrived at the parking lot, mid construction. They are building a new, larger building between the parking lot and The Great Buddha. The fog rolls through and we each had to snap photos when we could as the Buddha often dissapeared into the fog.

We arrive - just glorious!
Climbed the stairs to the Great Buddha -- all 308 steps according to my father's count!

At the top of the hill, there are 6 consorts at the base of the Great Buddha, facing him with offerings. They are beautiful!

We walked through the inner room that showed, amoungst other things, an amazing piece of art within. I have no photos of this art as none were allowed. It was comprised of many foot wide panels that were lined up side by side (north/south) on the outside of a circular wall. It shows many many dieties -- we think more than 100... Each woodburned and painted. It took 5 artists more than 7 years to complete and was only opened in the late 1990s. I'm hoping to be able to find a book on it to take another look. Simply magnificent!
Lunch! We had the traditional Chinese Vegetarian lunch called Jai. So good! Taro, Lotus root...spring many kinds of yummy fungus (mushrooms.) (And that's a cameo by my 1957 cardi on the chair!)

After a wander around the grounds including the koi pond, we headed back for the return bus ride...the long and winding road!

I think last weeks 105+ hour work week was finally catching up with me! I was a bit tired. We hit the hotel for a short rest followed by a trip to the tailor for Mom & Dad's suit fittings and my shirt fittings. Then a stop by the eye glass shop to pick up our glasses!
My sunglasses won't be ready until tomorrow.


Anonymous isela said...

308 steps, wow, that is a workout, but it is worth the trip up, just looking at the pictures makes me want to go there and see.
Again, thank you for the wonderful photography.

12:43 PM

Blogger Nessie Noodle said...

Well worth all those steps! that is just beautiful and I love the mosaic set too!
wow you are such a lucky woman to be seeing all this.

4:19 PM

Blogger Stacie said...

wow, beautiful pics! 308, that is such a dad thing to do, counting the steps! Just beautiful!

9:24 PM

Blogger Lolly said...

Your pics are breathtaking, Kimberli! I so enjoy seeing your travelogue!!

11:26 AM

Anonymous Dani said...

I LOVE living vicariously thru you and your travels. Glad you were able to get these posted, Ive been checking pretty religiously =)

You're almost home!!!

9:59 PM


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