Monday, July 14, 2008

Saturday's Excursion -- The Buddhist Temple

To continue on Saturday’s adventures, when we left our intrepid travelers, they were enjoying fruit and ice – a welcome treat after the tasty but fiery barbecued corn.

Next up on the day’s agenda was a visit to the neighborhood Buddhist temple. The architectural detail was amazing, so of course I took many pictures. I’ll share the highlights, along with a little commentary, mostly gleaned from my gracious guides.

This is the exterior of the temple. It's not large, but wow! You don't find this kind of thing in the U.S. Or maybe just not where I hang out.

This is the detail at the top of one of the columns from the previous shot. The detail in the work is just amazing.

This is part of one side of the center display. These columns were all rotating. That effect, plus all the incense, was kind of mesmerizing. Each of these small units is a Buddha with a tiny light.

This wall is just to the right of the columns picured above.

OK, here's the "big picture" so you can see what I mean. There are two sets of rotating columns and two walls. How many thousands of tiny Buddhas is that? I didn't try to count. In the foreground (unfortunately washed out) is a dish where worshippers place sticks of incense. There is a LOT of incense, as you can see. This is another place where Smell-O-Vision would come in handy!

This is a view looking up at the ceiling, standing in the same spot. Again, the detail is just fantastic everywhere you look.

If you look in the picture below, you can see that some of the Buddhas have names affixed to them and some do not. My hosts told me that for a price, you can put your name on a Buddha and have good luck for a year. I think they said it was TWD$100, which is about US$3. Not a bad price for a year's worth of luck!

After looking at the inside, we went outside. This is the roof on the far side of the courtyard.

This is the main roof, which is at a right angle to the roof in the picture above (and which is also visible from the other side in the first picture of the temple).

Since I may not have explained that roof thing very well, maybe this will help. The picture immediately above is in the center below. The side roof is on the left below, or may be slightly out of the frame.

After looking around a bit more inside the temple, we went back outside. This is the view of the street market from the terrace outside the temple. The music stand in the foreground was for a one-man band. I tried to get a picture of him when we went into the temple, but my camera was misbehaving (or more correctly, I was too dumb to figure out what I was doing wrong). When we came back out, he was gone. It was a shame; he didn't look like a typical American one-man band. He was bowing some instrument I didn't recognize and playing at least three other things. I wish I'd gotten the shot -- now I'm just teasing you.

Soon after that, we left the street fair. When we got back to where the car was parked, I saw two brooms leaned against an old truck. They were interesting enough to merit a snapshot.

So that was the first half of Saturday... and I can already tell I'm not going to finish blogging the entire weekend tonight since it's after midnight here now. I'll tell you about the rest of Saturday, and then I'll have to leave Sunday for tomorrow.

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