Given that we will be in Bhutan for almost two weeks, we thought we’d break out the photos by the towns and experiences we will be having. These are a few of our photos flying into Paro, which was an awesome experience and we were able to capture some great photos of Mt. Everest and the Himalayan Range from the air. Once we landed, we met our guide, Dorje, and he took us on a hike over a very cool chain-link bridge covered in prayer flags that was reconstructed after a flood using original chain links from the famous Tibetan bridge builder, Thangtong Gyelpo.
We are staying in Thimphu for the first few days, then we will be headed up to almost 10,000 feet to the town of Punakha for a few days, back to Thimphu for a bit and then we start our 5-day trek up to about 14,000 feet. We are all really looking forward to this trip, as we will be trekking, camping and eating out under the stars among the mountains of Bhutan. Our hike will take us over the Druk Path and into Paro.
The captains invited Brooke into the cockpit during the flight…just like you are allowed to do in the States;):
This was funny looking back at the passengers all sitting on the left side of the plane to witness the peaks of the Himalayas and Mt. Everest. Hard to see in these photos, but if you click on the photos, you can enlarge them to see Mt. Everest. We were blessed with a clear morning and inspiring views heading from Kathmandu to Bhutan:
A visit to the Tamchogg Lhakhang, the reconstructed chain-link bridge mentioned above (it was exciting, beautiful and a little scary):
We were able to practice archery, the national sport of Bhutan, at our hotel. Kids both hit the target…Mom and Dad…not so much:
The view from above Thimphu:
We went to the local preserve (they don’t believe in zoos in Bhutan!) to see the wildlife, most notably the Takin, which is the national animal of Bhutan. It looks like a cross between a mountain goat, ox and antelope. Yep, it is odd:
The National Memorial Chorten, where Brooke made a friend and picked flowers with a local Bhutanese girl that wanted to play with her:
We spent a beautiful day at the annual Tscechu Festival in Thimpu. Magic is the only word to describe the event that really felt other-worldly (thanks Matthew for the description)! It is a special day honoring Padmasambhava or Guru Rimpoche or “one who was born from the lotus flower” (and yes, see the video, mom got pulled out of the crowd and into the main festival by one of the ‘clowns’):
Yikes!…Mamma was grabbed and taken into the middle of the Tscechu Festival:
The Buddha Dordenma, a gigantic Shakyamuni Buddha statue erected in 2008. The statue is filled with over one hundred thousand smaller Buddha statues:
Dressed in traditional wear in Bhutan. The mens outfits are called Ghos and the womens are called the Kira:
Making custom stamps at the Post Office in Thimphu (we have proclaimed ourselves the new royal family of Bhutan, since we love it here and don’t want to leave!):
Heading to Punakha… and then trekking, see you soon!