Friday, May 8, 2015


We went to the Summer Palace at Norbulinka. This is the most revered place for Tibetan Buddhists, because it was where the Dali Lama was when he fled from the Chinese. The clocks are stopped at the time he left his home forever...9 PM. In an effort to reduce his impact on the people the Chinese will NOT allow any pictures of the Dali Lama.  But, there is one painted wall in the chaple where there is a picture of him painted while he was young, the only official one in Tibet. This is allowed because it is an artistic interpretation in a large mural, and to destroy it, would cause a lot of damage. They don't showcase it, but our Tibetan guide pointed it out. There are many festivals and parties on the lawn in front of the summer palace, and of course, most Tibetans feel the the Dali Lama will return here.
After another fine Tibetan lunch with beer , we had our schedualed visit and climb to the Potola Palace. This 1,000 room palace is the cities greatest landmark and a pilgrimage site for Tibetans from all over the world. It was built for Tibet's fifith Dali Lama and has served as a winter home for all Dali Lama's since.  It was a very warm day, around 80, with many steps,up, up, up at a high elevation. It was definatly a climb, but we took it a bit slow and made it ok. The incense was intense, and theseperate chapels    or rooms were filled with buddha after buddha, and gold and jewels, in immense quatities.  It was mostly dark and musty, but there were monks around and some faithful prostrating themselves and of course, lots of praying.

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