day 15

well, sorta still day 14...part 2?

 a lovely walk into the Lama Temple

a lovely walk into the Lama Temple

we started the day yesterday by heading to the Yonghe Temple, commonly known as the Lama Temple.  It is a temple and monastery of the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism.  Work on the temple started in 1694.

 

 The drive up to the place was quite fun.  I knew we were getting close as there were suddenly loads of stores selling buddah statues out my window.  i had never seen so many golden figures.

Once inside, you are greated by two people who provide you with a bundle of sticks/incense so that you my light some and say a prayer.  we were really there to look at architectural details so I wasn't necessarily prepared to start saying any specific prayers...other than for a good time in China!

 incense

incense

 all that incense....it got a little smoky for a minute.

all that incense....it got a little smoky for a minute.

There were loads of beautiful statues in the many buildings on the property.  They seemed to get progressively larger the further into the complex we went.

 I just love the cloud background in this...and check out the dragon head around the belt!

I just love the cloud background in this...and check out the dragon head around the belt!

 some other beauties.

some other beauties.

 prayer cushions inside the temple...

prayer cushions inside the temple...

 even bigger still...

even bigger still...

 had never seen a skylight in chinese architecture (see the light in the previous photo)

had never seen a skylight in chinese architecture (see the light in the previous photo)

 this statue was the biggest of them all...at least 3 stories tall...so tall that i couldn't get it all in the shot

this statue was the biggest of them all...at least 3 stories tall...so tall that i couldn't get it all in the shot

 this fabric became iridescent in the light....according to wikipedia, the statue continues into the ground another 24' and is all carved from a single piece of sandalwood.  impressive.

this fabric became iridescent in the light....according to wikipedia, the statue continues into the ground another 24' and is all carved from a single piece of sandalwood.  impressive.

 can't get enough of these green tiles!

can't get enough of these green tiles!

 wonder what the significance of him stepping on his baby is?

wonder what the significance of him stepping on his baby is?

Sadly, tonight is my last night in the lap of luxury.  I will miss this place.  Though I am looking forward to getting settled into a real apartment, this hotel room quickly became my safe home away from home.  The staff was brilliantly friendly and they made our morning breakfasts fun and enjoyable.  Tomorrow, I'll move about 10 minutes closer to the city center....to a residence hotel that many of you may have heard of....if you participated in the Emerson LA program...you know what I'm talking about.  I hope that it's even half as comfortable as this place has been.

Will try to keep the posts coming!  Thanks.