We are now at the St. Regis Hotel in Lhasa in the "Autonomous" State of Tibet in China. More about that label when I get to India.
We arrived here in Tibet by a commercial Air China flight around 10:00 am local time. Then we had about an hour ride to Lhasa. They can not build an airport just anywhere around since the the mountains are high, steep and just about everywhere.
This hotel is just the finest I have ever seen. And just think, it is in one of the most remote places in the world. I will be posting some photos of our room and the view from our window to the Portola Palace.
Actually, I am not posting anything directly. China apparently censures the internet. I can not access my blog. Other travelers tell me that they can not access Facebook. I will talk later about this situation when I get to India. Herman III will cut and paste this from an email onto the blog.
We are at 12,000 feet here but no bad side effects yet. The medicine must be working. Let's see what happens when we start climbing steep steps tomorrow.
The tour people are actually giving us time to adjust to the altitude today. Our only activity today is to visit a temple and nearby market. I should have some time tonight to add some additional comments.
After arriving in Tibet, Debbie went with a group to visit an orphanage. One "mother" cares for ten children. The surrogate mother cannot marry as she needs to give her love and attention to her ten children. After first arriving, we went to an auditorium (nothing like auditoriums in the US) where several of the children performed two dances for us. Funny thing was that the children wore traditional Tibetan dress but they dance hip hop, using a karoke video to learn the dances. Then we visited one house for a mother and ten children. It was very modest but you should have seen the children beaming at us. I had learned how to say good morning in Tibetan and used my new vocab item with the children, but they responded "Hello". I took several photos of the children dancing and at their house. It was touching but not nearly as demoralizing as the visit to the Cambodian school. As our guide told us, these are lucky children.