You just have to type Tibet into WordPress to get a feel of what other people think/say about this place, its history and its future. I don’t need to add my viewpoint. What I will say is, there were a few parts that stood out for me.
- I come from Northern Ireland. It is a small place. We do flags. A lot of them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_flags_used_in_Northern_Ireland
- I also grew up in a time of heightened security in Northern Ireland.
- Anything goes.
I notice flags. In Suzhou – there are no flags. In Tibet, even in what I felt to be the remote parts of Tibet and in the cities…
Our train journeys within the region and leaving Tibet Autonomous Region had security that I think made me feel safe. But when a penknife is confiscated in Shigatse having travelled into Lhasa from Shanghai, it seemed a little odd. Even proving that I needed the medicine/and indeed that it was medicine for Eleanor when leaving Lhasa for Suzhou seemed slightly pedantic.
The trips into the market and even on the trains we saw some odd things, sheep on heads, dead sheep (or maybe a goat) in a bag being hauled onto the train and finally a dentists corner in a fairly central part of old town in Lhasa. This wasn’t the only one we saw. There is a multitude of things wrong with this “clinic” (broadest sense of the word!)
The holiday wasn’t relaxing. Eleanor was unsettled because of the altitude and because Martin wasn’t there. I was unsettled because Eleanor wasn’t well/herself and I know that despite the fact that we had some good days she won’t talk about the trip. When others talked about their Christmas holidays in school she didn’t say anything as she didn’t think she had really done anything, save go to hospital. Hopefully she will look back on this trip as a cool experience.
So maybe this wasn’t the best trip that 2/3rds of the Croziers have been on. Maybe no trip was going to be ideal because we were spending it away from Martin.
I might be back – but on my own.
The views were outstanding everywhere and the skies just breathtaking (literally).
I don’t know what 2018 will hold for us, but the first week of our Chinese New Year holiday (12-16th February) will be spent in Harbin, where the temperatures during the day currently range between -21 and -9 during the day and between -31 to -19 degrees CELCIUS at night. (temperatures for the next week).
Why Harbin? Well you will just have to wait and see.