Temples and Dusty Roads
For today we choose a different group of temples to investigate. We are again lucky that it is cloudy and cool for our walk. A blue sky might be nicer for pictures but being exposed to the baking sun not so nice for us.
The paths leading to the sights are a mixture of red dust and sand, sometimes loose and deep. I wouldn't want to have to ride any kind of two-wheeled vehicle here, with or without a motor. But these paths or minor roads don't just lead to the historic sites but also to villages and there is light traffic.
A Stroll to Nearby Temples
It rained all morning, strange for this time of year. In the afternoon the sky remained overcast and the air cool. It was good weather for walking. These pictures are all of scenes closeby, places we walked to and probably nothing on a tourist's itinerary.
Although we have been close to this legendary river since we arrived in Myanmar, today was the first time we saw it. That was at sundown, but let's start the narrative at the beginning of the day.
Yesterday I finished my prescribed antibiotic, but I wasn't well yet, not by a long shot. Time for a doctor. We trotted off to Bagan's Global Care International Clinic, its name grander than the building itself. But I got to see a doctor who spoke good English, took his time to listen to me and made a very competent impression altogether. I left with a bagfull of medications, including antibiotics. I don't know what's in all those little yellow, white and blue pills they gave me, but I'm taking them all, no questions asked.
Both Janos and I were relieved to have things under control and in the evening I felt up to a walk to the banks of the Irrawaddy. We got there at dusk, as the sun was setting. When the river came into view, we gasped. It was a splendid sight.
We flew out of Mandalay yesteray and now are in Bagan. This should be a highlight of our trip.
Also known as the Land of a Thousand Temples, the ancient kingdom of Bagan in Myanmar is symbol of Burmese religion, history and culture. Towering above the plains of Mandalay and cradled by the Irrawaddy River, the treasures of the ancient kingdom of Bagan have survived for centuries. Once a major power in Southeast Asia, Bagan is home to over two thousand Buddhist temples standing as symbols of Burmese history and culture.
That's a lot of temples. We'll be happy looking at a few. For our first day and to get acquainted with the lay of the land, we got in a tuktuk and had him drive us to some of the major sights. There were lots of people at the temeples we visited, mostly locals it seemed, we didn't see a lot of foreigners. They livened up the scenes of old stones.
Niether Janos nor I has ever been to Myanmar. There would be so much to discover and explore, and we have so little time. Our decision was to limit ourselves to Mandalay and Bagan for the time we have left.
To quote W. Somerset Maugham: "Mandalay has its name; the falling cadence of the lovely word has gathered about itself the chiaroscuro of romance." The same would apply to the Irrawaddy. The names have drawn us here.
To make a long story short, when we arrived I was fighting a severe respiratory infection which the flight here hadn't helped. Since our arrival I have been confined to our room for the most part, fortunately in a comfortable hotel. I went out with Janos twice for meals, otherwise I have rested in bed. And since my health is even more important to me than all the pagodas of Mandalay, I shall not do much sightseeing here, if any at all.
Our flight to Bagan is tomorrow and I am hoping to be in good enough shape for the continuing journey.
The two times I went out I snapped a few pictures.