Monday, 21 December 2009

land of magical happenings

Ta Phrom the trees have reclaimed the temples
Bayon Apsara dancer relief
Apsara dancers

Nothing can prepare you for the sheer beauty, magnificence and wondrous temples of the Angkor Watt in Cambodia. They commanded a vast empire under the auspices of an all powerful god - king. And they sustained a civilization of unparalleled achievement in south east Asia.
So often we find ourselves at the world's most incredible monuments, we are in awe of there architectural genius, there scale and magnificence. But rarely do we have the opportunity to see what it was like for the real people. Many stories and information of our past are told through chronicles of kings not peasants This is what makes the temples so interesting they tell the story of everyday life of the everyday people.
I love that you can still walk and climb over them all. No health and safety, you can fall from the top and maim yourself at your own risk. Can you imagine being able to climb all over Stonehenge it's a no fly zone let alone a no touch zone.
Around every corner you can't but wonder HOW?????? They are works of pure genius. Last year I ran a marathon around it at sunrise, that was quite something on two counts me running and being there for the sunrise. Where else in the world would you be stopped in the middle of running by an elephant crossing the path. That really was a wonderful sight as the sun began to peer over the top of the Angkor watt that morning. What makes the Angkor Watt so special is that the everyday life, they once supported has not totally vanished and can be seen all around, families gathering wood, monks, people just living. We went off the beaten track at some of the more distant temples which we shouldn't have because of landmines. But this is where you find hidden gems, whilst we were out walking we came upon dwellings where monks lived all their saffron robes were hanging on trees to dry. I walked through quickly with my eyes shut wouldn't do to see naked monks. I have been back to them now 8 times and still want to see them again. If you have the opportunity to go and see them don't tell too many people as I like to keep them a little bit secret, but you can't help sharing how wonderful they are.
Visit my shop and you can see little bits of my journies in the stuff I make

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