Lhasa - Flights into
and out of Tibet are difficult because of the weather: cloud cover,
ceilings, updrafts and downdrafts. The airport is 1.5 hrs. outside of
Lhasa. Lhasa sits at 11,800 feet in the mountains. One is well-advised
to keep hydrated there because the air is thin, and dry.
Directly outside of Lhasa we crossed the sacred river, Lhasa He, which
flows into India. People scatter the ashes of their dead in this river,
so do not eat fish that swim in there. The Tibetans practice 2 kinds of
burials: sky burials in which the bodies are placed on the mountains to
allow vultures to eat, and cremation.
The Lhasa He (which just means the Lhasa River) was
very swollen because July is the rainy season. The water came up to the
road in many areas. There were a number of rock slides on the highway,
as well. Getting from the airport to Lhasa was bone-jarring!
Right outside of Lhasa we saw a small village. The
people are farmers who keep a few cows. The poles are hung with
offerings, asking for blessings.
You often find cows on the road. Yaks live higher up
in the mountains.
This statue was supposedly made by the man who brought Buddhism to
The mountains are decorated with vibrant paintings of
Buddhas. These may actually date back hundreds of years, but are
repainted every year.
Tibetan summer flowers (sunflowers, roses, etc.) are
ones that grow in Zone 5 in the US!