To Bhutan!!

One last madcap ride through the streets of Kathmandu to the airport. Tickets, debarkation, security xray and bodysearch (separate lines for men and women), a hand search of the same carry on bags and a check that we had separate stamps on our tickets for each of those stations. Then we were free to wait at the gate. There is a new distance between planes for Kathmandu (good idea given the level of visibility) so our plane had to do some circling. We watched some of the sad news from Japan while we were waiting.
A quick ride to Paro. We were able to see Everest again, from a slightly different angle. Good thing we already had our pictures – many different heads would have been in any photo.
The pilot announced “On our way into Paro we may come closer to the mountains than you have ever been before in a plane. Please do not be disturbed, this is quite normal for our approach here.” Glad he warned us!

Wow and here we are. What a beautiful place. It just feels happy. Even the airport is beautiful.

We ate lunch at our hotel, did a little unpacking, and then headed for the National Museum which opens at 2. It used to be the watch tower for the Paro Dzong. It is now six levels of history, including thangkas, statues, metallurgy, armor, and an amazing Tree of Refuge with the 4 lineages of Tibetan/Bhutanese Buddhism. No photos allowed inside, but here we are right before we went in.

On the way out we looked down at the festival we will be at tomorrow and the Paro Dzong next to it.

We then headed out for the ruin of a Dzong up the valley. On the way we caught an archery contest – amazing 150 yards and a small target – and we looked up the mountain to Tigers Nest where we will go day after tomorrow.

The walk around the old Dzong was enough to tire us out at almost 8000 feet. Early dinner and to bed.

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