Early Sunday morning Yangchi & Dechen arrived at my hotel to pick me up for the trek to Taktshang Dzong. The monastery is located in Paro and it would take us just over an hour to drive there. On the way we picked up Jan and Ute as well. This monastery is considered one of the holiest destinations for a pilgrimage in the Buddhist religion. The hike up took two and a half hours and went from 7480 feet above sea level to 10300 feet. This first picture is taken at a large prayer wheel halfway up the walk. If you look in the mountains behind the woman, the monastery is barely visible. The white spots on the gray landscape... thats our destination.
The trail on the way up is rocky and almost vertical the entire way. We were surrounded by evergreen forests filled with birds who chirped constantly as if rooting the hikers on. Prayer flags are seen everywhere, strung over bridges, between trees and on poles 11 feet high. Once we reached the chasm of the first mountain, we found stairs leading down the mountainside, across the waterfall, and back up the the monastery. Stacks of rocks lined the stairway as another symbol of prayers and wishes of those who have come before.