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Music

Inspiring musical performances at 4:05am, 4:45am and 5:30am from the dog in the alley outside my hotel room window, with a dramatic chorus of his compatriots shortly thereafter, offer yet another perspective on the Thimphu art scene. While the musicality of the event proved erratic at best,...

permalink written by  roel krabbendam on June 9, 2015 from Thimphu, Bhutan
from the travel blog: Bhutan



East and West

Invited to see a new hotel opening soon as part of a school for hotel management, I'm driven to a site dominated by a huge stone building punctured by irregular windows and somewhat encumbered by huge wood protrusions. Austrian design, Austrian engineering and Austrian money made it...

permalink written by  roel krabbendam on June 8, 2015 from Thimphu, Bhutan
from the travel blog: Bhutan



Past Present Future

We start the day at the National Library, which turned out to be way more interesting than expected. As a repository of its past I expected the usual and very stuffy vault of books, but we found instead a building with no books at all except in the shop: only scrolls. The one exception was...

permalink written by  roel krabbendam on June 7, 2015 from Thimphu, Bhutan
from the travel blog: Bhutan



Delay

We are scheduled to fly back across the country to Paro, but the 10am plane is said to have diverted to Kathmandu. Since this is in the opposite direction from that flight's origin in Paro, we assume business interests intervened or possibly relief efforts. In any case, after sitting at the...

permalink written by  roel krabbendam on June 6, 2015 from Thimphu, Bhutan
from the travel blog: Bhutan



Construction

Today we’re visiting construction sites: restoration projects, historical expansion projects, new construction, whatever we can find and barge in on. We start at another monastery, this one expanding with a new two story residential wing as well as a new temple that artfully swallows a much...

permalink written by  roel krabbendam on June 5, 2015 from Jakar, Bhutan
from the travel blog: Bhutan



Two heads not better than one

Above and to the east of our site lies the Tharpaling Monastery that gives our company in part it’s name. We spend the day there, the event a bit of a pilgrimage for the rest of the group. The hour drive from Jakar has become familiar to me now, winding through the Blue Pine forests of...

permalink written by  roel krabbendam on June 4, 2015 from Jakar, Bhutan
from the travel blog: Bhutan



Drinking it all in

We’re up at 4:30 am at my insistence that we experience the site at dawn. The valley is such that your first experience of the sun in the morning is not facing east but facing west, the light illuminating the western edge of the bowl: the fir trees on the western crest. Obvious...

permalink written by  roel krabbendam on June 3, 2015 from Jakar, Bhutan
from the travel blog: Bhutan



Buddha Day

We spend the next day in Trongsa Castle. Its Buddha’s birthday, so merits are worth a million times their usual value. Kindness pays today! I’m helping little old ladies up stairs, I’m handing out bits of cash at alters here and there, and I’m thinking only benevolent thoughts. I’m banking...

permalink written by   on June 2, 2015 from Tongsa, Bhutan
from the travel blog: Bhutan



Yakkity Yak

The bus leaves early, the drive to Trongsa easily 8 hours on a single lane highway handling two way traffic. Rising slowly through deciduous forests along a steeply sloped river, through Wangduephodrang and Chuzomes and Samtengang and Nubding, to the turn at Ngesa where we crest a pass into a...

permalink written by  roel krabbendam on June 1, 2015 from Tongsa, Bhutan
from the travel blog: Bhutan



Gross National Happiness

On the way to Trongsa, we stopped in at a primary school in a small town along the way. Despite the admonishment to dress appropriately, we invited ourselves in (politely!) for a visit. The buildings were beautifully constructed, the administration wonderfully accommodating, and the...

permalink written by  roel krabbendam on June 1, 2015 from Tongsa, Bhutan
from the travel blog: Bhutan



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