cohn17

October 16, 2011

bhutan – scenery

Filed under: general — cohn17 @ 4:33 pm
i’ve just returned from a 10-day trip in bhutan with a group of photographers. the basic stats on bhutan: a population of just under 700,000 people in an area of 18,146 square miles, sandwiched between india and china at elevations of up to 23,000 feet above sea level. the geography and its architecture may remind one of switzerland or austria:

   

(note the chilies drying on the roof: the national dish is ema datsi, sliced chilies in a cheese sauce. you will find chilies drying on almost every roof.)

the views of the himalayas are pretty impressive.  these photos were taken from a hill covered with 109 stupas, or chortens, built to commemorate a victory over rebels in 2004.

   

the foothills, with the fog winding its way through the trees in the early morning and the sun shooting over the tops in the late afternoon, make for good photography, too, especially in b&w:

   

finally, the view was particularly thrilling when we were driving along the narrow winding road along the side of the mountain. we were up somewhere around 9,000-10,000 feet and there were many sections of the road – full of hairpin curves, and too narrow in parts for two cars to pass one another – where the edge had been swept away by landslides caused by the previous month’s earthquake. along these sections, the movement of earth had left only a foot or so of crumbly surface between us and a straight drop downward; meanwhile, the occasional boulder at the side of the road suggested that the situation on the hillsides above us might not have been all that stable either.  nature has a way of reminding you of your own smallness at the most inopportune times.

      

next: monks, monks, monks.

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