Bagan

Jan Leeming

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Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

BAGAN

Date: 4th November 2016

Today we have a long five hour coach journey to Bagan stopping off en route.  Bagan  is known as the 'City of 4,000 Pagodas' housed in an area of 19 square miles.  Wow

The first stop was at the Snake Pagoda at Paleik where we watched the daily ritual of the bathing of the resident pythons.  If I understood it correctly the Buddha was being tempted by all manner of nasty things and Ananda - the Snake God (Cobra) spread his head over the Buddha by way of protection from the elements and that is why the Cobra is revered.

We moved on to a traditional Buddhist ceremony offering food to the monks and in return receiving a blessing to ensure good luck and happiness. 

We stopped at lunch time half way between somewhere and nowhere at a Cafe surrounded by petrified trees.  Again if I understood Nyi Nyi correctly there'd been an earthquake eons ago and the petrified trees had come to the surface.  They'd been in the ground for such a long period that not only were they petrified but they also contained other minerals and had become partly opalised.  I have always had a love for geology and the history of precious and semi precious stones and I love the romance of knowing that these trees fell down millions of years ago and were pressed and pressed until they petrified.  There was a small shop but the items on sale were mostly large chunks of petrified wood, not only heavy but with heavy prices to match.  I'd have loved a piece but the excess baggage charge would have needed a second mortgage on my flat!  I did, however, buy a small piece which had been exquisitely carved.

After checking into our hotel we were off to some temples and to ascend one to view the sunset.  My goodness - what a challenge.  The steps were very steep and very narrow and the various layers of the temple were crammed with people.  I was determined to get to the top and I did but once there and looking down suffered mild vertigo!  I was so intent on getting up that I'd not thought about getting down.  Sunset was a trifle disappointing - cloud again and Nyi Nyi said that obviously his email to Buddha,  asking for a spectacular sunset, had failed to arrive - not surprising as the Internet was extremely dodgy.

Fortunately we waited till all the other visitors had descended and began our own - it was necessary to go down backwards as you would do on a ship - so I just kept on going and didn't look down.

Not a particularly good photo but might give you some idea of steepness and height http://www.justyou.co.uk

BAGAN

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