Not until Jonas caught all the typical altitude sickness, did we realize how high we actually were in Leh – 3500 metres above sea level! He got the bad headache, tired, flulike, weak in the legs. The first night he couldn’t sleep and kept awake. Therefore, when I was ready to take a stroll in the early morning on the second day, he kept saying in bed. I decided to get up and take a walk in the downtown.
Seeing the Leh Palace quite close by from the hotel, I wished to catch the last bit of sunrise from viewing on the high spot there. Asking the way from several locals, I managed to reach there and found an overview of the city, with a piece of sunshine whiten the east part. After a while, I decided to walk down and passed by a Nepali jewlery shop, where he managed to sell some silver earrings to me. Although trying to be hasty back to the hotel, a small tofu like shop caught my eyes. They were selling paneer and lassi, two helpers were turning the big pot containing liquid milk on fire, I was super happy that I found paneer’s prototype without looking up on wikipedia. I went back home with a cup of lassi, cost less than half price in the restaurants.
The rest of the day was “enlighting”, if we use the Buddhist language. We visited three famous monasteries and Shey Palace.
The first monastery was tiny but very old, it was built in the 16th century. We could still see the painting on the wall, vague but vivid. Each Buddha had different features and features. Until today, there are still 47 monks schooling here. Outside of the monastery, we were facing the grand ladakh valley, where a helicopter was dropping the army with parachutes. The training continued on and we saw later a much more heavy army installation in the area.
Along the impressive mountains landscape, we arrived at Hemis, the most renowned monastery of Ladakh area. It’s also where the 14th drukpa frequently visits. Although we are not really into the Buddhism, the hemis museum offered a lot of interesting explanations and quenched our curiosity about a lot of things and mysterious patterns we see everywhere in the region. We often see fish shells and knots at the gate of the locals house. There were actually 8 symbols: parasols – shelter, fish shell – speech of lama, banner – victory, lotus flower – purity, Two fishes – abundance, knots – infinitive wisdom and continuity, kettle and ??. That explained the similar symbols on many of the households. We left Hemis soon after the museum.
Our driver, Mudup, laughed when he introduced us Tiksey Monastery as little Tibet. Its style is indeed like the famous potala monastery in Tibet. The base was white and the main body of the monastery was red. We had a really good view from the 9 stupas on the side of the main building. We ended our trip with Shey Palace, which was no much different on appearance compared to Leh Palace.