We are tourists again as we make our way to Longmen Grottoes. Chinese Grandfather borrows his brother’s car to take us. We meet our newest interpreter, Sherry, and depart on our expedition. Longman Grottoes is one of those places that make you realize how ancient the Chinese culture is. Thousands of sculptures are carved into a giant rock hillside. It’s saddening to see the obvious defacing that has occurred over the years. It’s clear to see which vandalism was from foreigners stealing or the Cultural Revolution just simply disfiguring out of simultaneous rage and courage to make change. To climb the stairs to see many of the sculptures also makes you realize how hard it must have been to traverse the rock in ancient times to get to the works of art that were in progress.
After crossing the river, we trek to Xiangshan Temple. There is a mind-numbing amount of stairs to climb with many resting spots along the way. Once to the top, we finally see up close what we’ve been seeing at a distance since arriving at Longmen Grottoes. This is a mix of old and new structures beautifully maintained and preserved. Most of the buildings have
ancient-looking sculptures and Buddhas. What strikes me the most as a surprise is one building we enter that has European styling and furnishings.
There are hundreds of photos posted on the internet showing Longmen Grottoes and Xiangshan Temple. By no means do my photos do this historic site justice. Nor can I spin the stories as well as sites devoted to documenting the history. I’ve never been to a place where people have such a deep past, grand structures and dedication to art and their beliefs.
Coming up, the one-month baby celebration.
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