How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

Luoyang, Day 6, Part 2: Longmen Caves

96 Comments


We were supposed to visit the Terra Cotta Warriors, but our schedule  had been switched.  Our new guide, Lisa, met us at the airport in red sweats and a quilted  jacket. It was warm (forecast 25° Celsius). I don’t believe we went straight to the hotel but loaded the luggage on the bus and headed for the mysterious Longmen Caves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QdYUkvT19g  (length 4.37 min)

OR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf_ZzgwxrmI  (length 30.12 min)

For an in-depth history, you may like to check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longmen_Grottoes

We walked a long way from the bus to the grottoes. The day was humid with a hint of rain. I wore flip-flops until we got off the plane. Yes, those cheap dollar store kind to wear in the hotels, proof of how little I’ve travelled. We had slippers at every hotel. Duh. Had I known I’d be wearing them out, I’d have packed my fashionable pair. I switched to my runners on the bus. Soon my blistered and bandaged toes, although wrapped in three bandages each, growled and complained.

Bridge at Long Corridor © by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

Bridge at Long Corridor
© by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

The area we walked was a long and wide to accommodate hoards of people. It was a well-maintained park setting with flowers, trees and was surprisingly pristine, alongside the River Yi. Again we saw no wrappers or garbage anywhere. No empty water bottles lay around either. Recycle containers were everywhere and well-used.

River Yi at Longmen Caves © by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

River Yi at Longmen Caves
© by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

So much destruction had occurred over time: vandalism, smashed faces, missing heads and time. Stolen pieces had been mysteriously secreted to museums in various parts of the world, but are slowly being returned.

Our tickets to Longmen Caves allowed a choice between a postcard and a pack of peony seeds. I chose the latter as a souvenir because peonies are the city flower. There is a natural rock in this area that looks like it’s covered in peonies.

Peony Stone © by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

Peony Stone
© by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

I hadn’t planned to climb to the top as my feet balked at the hundreds of stairs (thousands?), but curiosity changed my mind. When would I have the opportunity to see for myself what I’d traveled so far to see? Going up wasn’t too bad. I don’t think anyone noticed how I gripped the railing with both hands. Coming down was another matter. Heights and I are not on friendly terms.

© Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles A few caves

© Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles
A few caves

Would you guess the biggest Buddha is 17 metres tall?

© by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

© by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

This is a close-up of the largest Buddha, Losana, or Mona Lisa so-called by the locals because of the smile.

© by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

© by permission of RJ, a member of English 8

Below the many stairs are shops with tourist trinkets, postcards etc. of all kinds.

© Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

© Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

 

By the time I’d walked and photographed and snooped in the shops and sat to rest my feet, my tummy began to remind me it was starving. The humidity continued and the rain stayed away. Soon everyone gathered together. There was no more to see. Dinner awaited somewhere. I hoped we didn’t have far or long to go.

Next on August 22, Day 6, Part 3 – Dinner and Stories

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page.

Advertisements

Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

96 thoughts on “Luoyang, Day 6, Part 2: Longmen Caves

  1. What an amazing site that must’ve been to see. Sorry your tootsies were hurting though. Puts a damper on the whole tourist thing. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very amazing archeological, history presentation. However, like Egypt, Dead Sea in Israel, Armenia are considered the oldest in caves, archeological richness!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely presentation. Glad to see that pieces are being slowly returned. Must’ve been a relief to rest your feet (and hands from gripping the rails). This looks like one of the nicer parts of your trip. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  4. I never thought I’d care to travel that far, to that land. But you’ve made me think differently. The sites (and the history behind them) are amazing!

    Like

    • I could not process or soak up how much history we were told. 5000 years of it. Of course, each foreign country has lots of interesting history.
      China wasn’t on my list of places to visit. We were planning on going to Australia but this tour came up and it only cost 1/3rd of the Australia trip and we figured, Why not?

      Like

  5. There is so much to see there. Was the overcast sky fog or smog? Too bad you couldn’t stretch the trip out over three months instead of weeks!

    Like

    • I look at the pictures again, Jacqui and I remember that we NEVER saw smog. This day was dripping with humidity and I felt rain in the air although it stayed dry.

      Considering it was the middle of the afternoon, we deplaned around 2:30, I’m not sure why the picture looks like it might be fog or something.

      Like

  6. Good for you for climbing the stairs, even with your poor abused toes. You are so right, when would you ever see all of this again. Peony’s are my favorite flower, I hope you actually grow them from the seed! The rock, that is the coolest thing.

    I am so envious of you, your adventures to now. Are you have fun putting this travelogue together?

    Like

    • Thank you, Val. I AM having fun putting this together because now I get to enjoy it all over again. If it wasn’t for blogging, I most likely would have file the memories and my notebook away.

      If I hadn’t seen that rock myself, I would have said it was specially painted. Amazing, isn’t it?

      Like

  7. What an amazing place. I’m glad you took the trip up the stairs. Like you, its the coming down part that is a problem for me. But it appears it was worth it. Greta pictures.

    Like

    • 😀 😀 Thank goodness for study railings. The stairs were so wide, I’m glad I wasn’t in a crowd in the middle of the stairs with nothing to hand on to. Both ways. What a marvel these carvings They were begun in 493 .D and took 400 years to complete. Don’t know what tools were available.

      Like

  8. I love that peony stone!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely photos and surroundings. Your tour mate from the English 8 seems quite the photographer.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Now this is the kind of thing I like to see!!!!! I’m so glad you climbed the stairs! No regrets now all these months later. Looking forward to more! I so appreciate you taking your time to share this. It’s much more fun this way. 🙂

    Like

  11. Grottoes were quite the trip, I’m sure! Loved it and would have climbed those stairs too. People don’t realize DOWN is every bit as tiring ar UP. Also, when heading UP, there’s less messing with the visuals. I like to climb lighthouses. Coming down, I try to look straight ahead. Too easy to feel I might tumble down otherwise. And it’s not like those iron steps are carpeted, lol.

    Great photos, Tess!

    Like

  12. Interesting how those ancients had the foresight to install those nifty little rooms downstairs to be used as tourist gift shops. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure if they did have the foresight. When I think of the stairs and generally all the ‘caves’, large and small up the rock face, they must have been on ladders or something. These stairs aren’t as old. All that brickwork isn’t 1600 years either. I never thought about it. Huh.

      Like

  13. Tess good for you to do all of those steps. You didn’t let fear, or your sore feet get in your way! Bravo. I would not have guessed the Buddha to be so tall!

    Like

  14. Some brilliant pictures and I am not surprised your feet started to complain… 🙂

    Like

  15. Interesting pictures. You’d have probably regretted it if you hadn’t made the climb – I try and think like that when I’m away – I might not get the chance to do this again, so it’s now or never! I’m really glad you’re taking the time to tell us about your trip in detailed instalments, rather than just a full summary in one post! China is somewhere that most of us won’t have been to, so it’s all different and very interesting 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, Vanessa. The beauty of this is I get to relive my trip all over again and sometimes I’m amazed at different things I remember.
      From the ground, the Buddha looked big, but up close I felt like an ant.I’m glad I made the effort up the stairs too and I marvel that I did. 😀 😀

      Like

  16. Interesting photos and information once again Tess. Even though we ache and our feet are sore, we have to push on, so glad you did, so that you could have the photos and the memories forever. x

    Like

    • Yes to all that, Jen. From the ground the Buddha look large but up close, it was humongous. Made me feel small as dirt.

      You are welcome to read and enjoy. Reliving this trip is awesome for me too by blogging and sharing. It pleases me anyone finds it interesting as well. ❤ ❤

      Like

  17. I’m glad you made the climb, Tess. The site would be amazing to see in person.

    Like

  18. My feet are aching with yours, Tess. Wonderful pictures– such a beautiful, impressive site.

    Like

  19. Fascinating Tess, I’d love to go there 🙂 but your poor feet . . .

    Like

  20. Fab post and pics Tess! Love the big Buddha! Is there any comfortable shoes for so much walking? Cuz I haven’t found them. lol 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, Debby. Not bad for 400 years’ work. Can’t imagine what tools were used.

      I bought leather runners from Tootsies but the problem was my feet perspired and therefore blisters happened. The leather didn’t breathe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know Tess. I have so many shoes and many were bought for sole purposes of enduring long walking times during travel. I don’t think anything is comfortable after a certain amount of time of wearing. But I can say besides all the types of runners and orthopedic inserts, Crocs win the race for me! 🙂

        Like

      • I should have brought a pair but I was under the impression it would be dirty there (but wasn’t).

        Liked by 1 person

  21. The peony stone looks like snowflake obsidian. Very pretty. Hope your feet are better ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Tess – I adore your travel writing. We’re going to have to hurry and sign you up for your next exotic trip. I’m curious, did you make friends with any of the 8 in your group that you traveled with. You know, the kind where you still communicate, etc. I noted you had photos credited to another traveler so I’m wondering how close the group became in and of itself.
    About those shoes, we’ll have to do something about that before you travel again. Your photos are absolutely amazing.

    Like

    • I’m pleased as punch that you’re enjoying my trip. I’m reliving the trip all over again by blogging about it.

      Yes, a couple who lives about 1-1/2 from me and I are still communicating. RJ shared his pictures as he and his wife say they also enjoy reading about our trip. One day I asked if he’d taken a particular picture and he sent me a bunch. I’ve been invited to visit them but I don’t do much highway driving these days.
      Those shoes were from Tootsies, highly recommended and leather. Too hot for my feet. 😦

      Like

      • Tess – Next time you are around a major upscale shoe department, try on a pair of Echo’s. I’ve been wearing them almost exclusively for 20 years. My feet have both been crushed, broken, twisted and all types of nasty injuries. Tom laughs, he thinks it’s funny that I can’t get through airport security or any other security checkpoint for that matter. Also, the really nice thing about Echo’s is when they wear down with the inner support, you can send them back to the factory and they will rebuild them for $35.00. Here in the states the good walking shoes go for around $150 but trust me, they are more than worth it. I’m wearing a sneaker that I purchased in 2002, it’s been rebuilt twice and I’m still in love with it.

        I always loved meeting new people when I traveled. Often if I was abroad on business, I would be alone but always managed to tack on some extra days for travel. I still stay in touch with a few I met and that was 35 years or so ago. Once we get Tom on his feet, we’re already planning a trip.
        Your blogs are some of the finest travel writing I’ve read. They have a terrific blend between the historical, educational, pictures and folksy blend. My kind of mix. Forbes, you better move over because here comes Tess!

        Like

      • That’s awesome about the Echo’s brand. Sigh. I paid $150.00 for my walking shoes / runners. Brooks. Top of the Line. Memory foam and support for feet and hips. They would have been fine except my feet didn’t breathe; they sweat. In cotton socks. I believe that’s what caused the blisters. When I took the shoes off, I left a wet foot trail on the bathroom tile.

        That’s the wonderful thing about travel, meeting the people and staying in touch. I still hear from my ESL students from 16 years ago (their travel, not mine 🙂 )

        You say the sweetest things, Sheri. I write about the types of things that interest me. Maybe my passion and excitement are showing as I relive the adventure. Thank YOU. ❤ ❤

        Like

  23. Tess, it looks like you were well rewarded for your long climb to the top. How beautiful! I love the nickname for the Buddha. 🙂 And that natural rock that looks like it’s covered in peonies is fascinating. I’ll have to ask James (the Geologist) what it is. Thanks again for taking us on this journey. ~Terri

    Like

  24. This is so amazing you are giving me itchy feet!

    Like

  25. What a gorgeous site! And kudos to you climbing those stairs. If you hadn’t, I’m sure you would have regretted it.
    Have you planted your Peonies yet?
    Another lovely post. What a great trip!

    Like

  26. Really good read. I love the huge Buddha sculptures and the peony stone which remind me of a gemstone called black obsidian or snowflake obsidian, as sometimes it’s called too.

    Flip-flops are good for going to the beach or walking leisurely around the hotel. I can never understand how people can wear them on airplanes, for example.

    Share some pics of your peonies, if they’ve grown by now. That’ll be nice 🙂

    Like

    • My feet refused any footwear that morning. I ached for relief. I would never wear them out at home but I had no choice.

      Maybe the name peony stone was adopted by the Chinese because they are the peony city and the stone is native to the area.

      Forgot about the seeds. Now must find them. 🙂

      Like

  27. Gosh I’m envious. Would love to see this and I’m curious about dinner.

    Like

  28. Those are amazing pictures, Tess. I agree with you; you may as well go all the way, blisters and all, because who knows when the opportunity will arise again…you also have all my sympathy for those blisters. ❤

    Like

  29. Those caves are stunning. They remind me of termite holes or something. I DO like the look of that!

    Like

    • This was quite interesting but I feel we spent much too long there. Could be just me. Still, to think this was 400 years in the making and wondering what tools were used, boggles the mind.

      Nice to see you Rose. ❤ Thanks for reading and for your comment. 🙂

      Like

  30. Now this looks fascinating but so sorry about your poor, painful feet, nothing worse when you have so much walking (and climbing) to do, ouch 😦 We visited some caves in France and these caves reminded me very much of them. Also, there was a very bizarre carving inside with what looked like a Buddha but nobody knows for sure what it was. Ancient cave dwellers once lived there. I wonder if there is a link with these caves? Wouldn’t that be something? Lovely photo taken from the bridge across the river, nice of your friend to let you use his pics 🙂 So glad you made the decision to make the climb and took hold of this marvellous opportunity. Another wonderful post Tess, loving this trip 🙂 ❤ 😛

    Like

  31. Oh wow! What a sacred looking place! Beautiful images too, Tess! 🙂

    Like

  32. Great photos Tess. So glad you climbed up all those stairs to see the carvings. I know what you mean about going down–I seem to have acquired a bit of vertigo in my old age. What a wonderful experience you’ve had. The Chinese were moving and shaking before North America even began to stir. So much history. So cool.

    Like

  33. I love your writing…I feel like I am walking with you through the site…sore toes and all! I read Sheri’s comment to you—I totally agree–beautiful blend of description, wonderful photos and down-to-earth “folksy blend”…bravo!

    Like

  34. I hope no one gets attacked in the caves by my ex with her poison fangs.

    Like

  35. Planted the peonies yet?

    I do like your travel account. It’s like being there without all the inconvenient aspects of travel 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  36. Your poor feet! Been there, done that!

    Like

  37. To me, so far this is the most interesting part of your trip. I’m fascinated by ancient people all over the world willing to go into caves to seek spirituality as if something dark and difficult to access opens the portals to God. The Longmen Caves do not disappoint. Spectacular. Thanks for attaching the sites with more info and pictures. Hope your tootsies healed.

    Like

  38. Yes, I agree. The caves are astonishing and the carvings are immense. How does one do this work up so close and get it right?

    Like

Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s