This week I had the amazing opportunity to visit Tibet with a group of people from my school for our annual Challenge Week. It was an incredible experience full of spirituality, politics, colour and immersion into the local culture, and I have the pictures to prove it.
Lhasa was an incredibly unique place to visit. Individual trips are not allowed in Tibet; you have to organise your visit through a local tour provider. Barkhor Street in particular was very spiritual; from the early hours of the morning to all through the day people walk around chanting prayers and swinging prayer wheels. Some paid pilgrimages and laid prostrate on the floor, grey circles daubed on their foreheads and their hair braided with colourful strings and silver charms. Others walked around, counting on strings of wooden beads.
We paid a visit to Braille without Borders, an independent school for the visually impaired, Potala Palace, Sera Monastery, Yerpa, Yamdrok Lake and Jokhang Monastery. We also learned how to make traditional Tibetan “Momo”, dumplings filled with yak meat, fat and spring onions. Walking up stairs or running was a challenge because of the high altitude, and it took some people several days to fully acclimatise. Nevertheless, the scenery was absolutely incredible! Yamdrok lake was purely turquoise, clear and sparkling, and in the distance you could see mountains capped with white snow, as if somebody drew a line with a ruler and spray painted the tops. The mountains were ochre-coloured and dotted with red shrubs.
Tibetans love their music and dance, and we learned how to dance a traditional routine and even had multiple rounds of karaoke! The food was interesting and unexpected, but probably not something that I’d eat on a daily basis. (!)