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Himalaya

Day 67: Lhasa

Lhasa, Tibet 
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Preparing to enter the Tsokchen Lhakhang, the Prayer Hall, at Drepung, another of Lhasa's famous monasteries, and once thought to be the biggest in the world. The assortment of monk's footwear shows the trainer has triumphed over the sandal.
Michael Palin - HimalayaWoken this morning by sound of soldiers being drilled in an army barracks somewhere below me.

Down to breakfast, all muffled up. The usual little awkwardnesses as we try to communicate the difference between toast and a heated slice of bread to a bemused Tibetan staff.

Why we persevere with these esoteric demands I don't know. Probably because Nigel has produced a pot of Cooper's Oxford Marmalade, and eating Cooper's Oxford from a limp patch of warm bread is like playing the Cup Final on tarmac.

We drive out to the west, passing the Golden Yak roundabout, where two of these great beasts are impressively mythologized, and a number of monumental government buildings. The six-lane highway is virtually empty, save for a rickshaw with a live pig sitting in the trailer behind it, and an official convoy of black limousines, which appears from nowhere and fades into the void ahead, sirens blaring and lights flashing as if it was trying to negotiate Fifth Avenue or the Champs Elysées.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 67: Lhasa
  • Country/sea: Tibet
  • Place: Lhasa
  • Book page no: 162

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