Well, I'm here! I first arrived at Tribuvan Int'l airport in Nepal at 6:00 p.m. I have a bad case of jetlag, considering it's 4:15 a.m in Dallas at this time. The flight was almost a full 24 hours. I need to get to my hotel so I can go tour a temple of Kathmandu Valley tomorrow, which is not far from my hotel. I'm going to go try some new foods for dinner. I'll talk to ya'll (is my Texan showing?) tomorrow.
Today's the day! I woke up bright and early at 6:00 a.m and decided to make a trek to Kathmandu Valley. The temple I visited was called, "Changu Norayan." This temple was believed to have existed in 325 A.D. Artworks and Documents show this was a sacred site, as well as the oldest temple in Kathmandu Valley. Tourits, such as myself, find ourselves going to look at the image of Vishnu, a Hindu God, holding ten heads and ten arms. This was built to show that Hindu idols and shrines had rich architectural beauty. There were so many people here today. I observed that no one besides me spoke English, so I had to use my Nepali tourist's dictionary. This temple had a vibe of overall peace.
After spending a few more days to experience Nepal, I decided to head to India, the home of the sacred city of Mathura. According to natives, Mathura is sacred because the Lord Krishna is supposedly to have been born here. One temple located in Mathura known to attract tourists is the, "Dwarkadish Temple." This temple has a carved entrance and a sculpture of Lord Kishna, made of solid black marble. The way this sculpture was designed is truly breathtaking.
I left Mathura, hopped on a plane and arrived at Suvarnabumi Int'l airport, in Bangkok, Thailand. Tomorrow I plan on going to visit multiple temples in the surrounding area of Bangkok. I love the landscape here, it's a busy city yet so rich in architectural culture and peace. This is the view from my hotel room, I hope you guys enjoy :)
Today I left my hotel room at 6:00 a.m sharp. I decided I wanted to walk to my destination to absorb the whole cultural landscape experience. The first temple I visited was called, Wat Arun. This temple is BREATHTAKING! It's architecture looked like something straight out from a dream. It reminded me of the Eiffel Tower! This temple is known as the most beautiful temple in Thailand. This temple has significance to the Buddhist religion because it was known as the home of the Emerald Buddha. It is decorated with colored glass, so when it shines in the sunlight, it brings light to its surroundings, just like Emerald Buddha had.
The last place I decided to visit was Wat Pho, a holy, sacred temple. in Thailand, and the Buddhism religion. Wat Pho is the largest, and oldest Buddhist temple. Thai massage lessons are held in this temple, which is a sacred and special practice in the Buddhist Religion. It is known as the ultimate, "holy place," in the Buddhist Religion. It also has a very interesting piece of architecture, the one and only, "Reclining Buddha!" This shows that this temple really admires Buddha.
After my wonderful visit in Thailand, I hopped on a plane and flew all the way to Jerusalem, Israel. The flight wasn't too bad... it only took about 12 hours. I have already met so many wonderful people. As soon as you get out of the airport, there are people praying, and you can see churches everywhere. The weather is nice right now as well, it's a crisp 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm currently on my way to a hotel, in a taxi. The architecture here is pristine, there are so many crosses. You can definitely tell this is a place of Christ's presence. I'll insert a few pictures of what I've seen so far.
Wow! Today was an extremely busy day! I woke up at 7:00 a.m today (the time change while you are traveling is really hard on your sleep schedule) I ate a great breakfast served at the hotel. Today, since it's Sunday, I was actually able to go to one of the sacred churches and experience it firsthand. I went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This has great significance to the Christian religion because it marks the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection. There were different prayer times for different denominations, as I was leaving the Baptist prayer time, many Mormon families followed. This church caters to all branches of Christianity. The architecture of this church is absolutely stunning. Everywhere you looked, there were so many fine details. The cross on the top affects the cultural landscape by showing to foreigners it's mainly a Christian region.
After spending a few more days in Israel, I was able to slip onto a plane headed to Saudi Arabia, I was about 5 minutes from missing my flight, but the ticket lady let me on. (Oh thank Heavens!) I arrived to King Khalid International Airport only 7 hours later, which, thus far into my trip, is the shortest travel time! The first thing I noticed, just by walking into the airport was what the native men and women were wearing. Men were wearing long robes and beret-looking caps with their face exposed. Women on the other hand were wearing long robes, which nothing but their hands were exposed. Women were also wearing hijabs that covered their entire face besides their eyes. I brought along a robe just so I wouldn't foreign identity wouldn't be revealed. I definitely do not want to get into trouble. I found out that Saudi-Arabians do this in accordance to their religion. This the principle of, "modesty." I was also very surprised at how energetic and modern the city, as a whole was. Tomorrow I will visit a mosque, as well as a popular holy place in, Saudi Arabia. I'll talk to ya'll tomorrow!
Today I woke up, not as early as usual, and decided to hop on a train to the holy city of, Mecca. Mecca is a holy city in which many from around the globe travel to, in order to fulfill their mandatory pilgrimage. Specifically, I traveled to a small building named, Ka'ba. Ka'ba is a small building in which people of Islamic religion believe it is a place on Earth that reflects a house in Heaven. Kissing- A sacred practice many were doing while I was visiting Ka'ba. Many worshipers were kissing the Black Stone cube in efforts to fulfill their pilgrimage and do what their religion tells them to do. While many Islamic followers believe Abraham built it, while others believe there is a supernatural force living inside the cube. There were so many people, it was completely packed. This affected the cultural landscape because it showed many people are very serious about their religion, and they will even travel tens of thousands of miles to fulfill their pilgrimage.
Hi again! I hope you guys enjoyed the pictures of Ka'ba. I thought it was a pretty neat place with so many culturally diverse people. I think I left my heart in Israel, so I decided to go back and explore Judaism, which also happened to originate in Israel, just like Christianity! So I hopped BACK onto a plane for about 7 hours and arrived in Jerusalem, Israel. Ironically enough, I stayed in the same hotel I stayed at last trip to Jerusalem. Everyone was just so nice. Since I had a red-eye flight, I was able to do some exploring today! The more *exploring* the merrier... right? Today, I visited the Kotel, which is the main pilgrimage, and sacred site of the Judaism religion. Jews around the world travel to Kotel, also known as the Western Wall. What is the Kotel? It is a wall that was put up to try and prevent the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The architecture of this wall is very interesting, it's a long and thick wall, yet not very tall compared to other walls. This architecture shows that the Jews really valued the safety of their beloved Jewish Temple. People make their pilgrimage to the Kotel and place notes of prayer inside the wall cracks. I was able to do this, and it was a very cool experience. There were many people there, and everyone was so happy they were finally able to fulfill a requirement of their religion.