Friday, March 07, 2008

I Left My Pants in Hiroshima

I have realized that I am a somewhat witless traveller. Combine that with my obsessive need to control things and I begin to resemble something out of a Godzilla movie! Just to get it out of the way, here are my 5 top travel errors:
1. Not choosing a photogenic jacket. Instead I went for the Goretex parka with the alarmingly reflective stripes.
2. Forgetting that I am not 19, and that carrying an overstuffed backpack is not only unwieldy, but makes people think I live on the street.
3. Forgetting that I broke my back last summer, and that carrying an overstuffed backpack will give my physiotherapist an extra six months of work.
4. Leaving my comfy yoga pants and favourite top in the hotel room.
5. And my worst travel error: Arrogantly assuming I know which way is North. And arguing with my husband about it.

Other than all that, I had the trip of a lifetime. We took 5 gigs of pictures so sorting them out has proved to be a bit of a marathon. I think I will divide them up into a few posts.

Here is the largest wooden structure in the world. It's a temple in Nara.

Here's one of the largest Buddhas in the world. He resides comfortably in the giant temple.

Before one enters a shrine, there is a place to ritually cleanse oneself.

Everywhere one looks, there is an exquisitely wrought detail. Here is a row of lanterns. I probably saw thousands of lanterns, of all kinds of materials, each of them beautiful.

Here's another lantern!

This is a graveyard for the monks of the temple.

And, leaving the spiritual for the material, here I am having fun in the temple market.

Piles of kimonos. Cheap. $2 to $10!

More tomorrow, I promise!

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