2012-6-2

On Saturday our class took a trip to Luoyang, a historic city about 3 hours away from Kaifeng.

Entrance to Luoyang Caves
Entrance to Luoyang Caves

I was really looking forward to this trip for several years now and couldn’t wait to see the Longmen Grotto’s. I really wanted to see first hand what I was drooling over on travel shows and photos since 2008 and to see up-close the real life Northern Air Temple from Avatar (the real one not the blue pocahontos one), I am not sure if this is the real one but I like to tell my son it is. (so he thinks I am cool) Anyway, it was a trip I couldn’t wait to take.

We first stopped at a really cool place of great history called Guanlin Temple where there are many places to pay respect to ancestors and hero’s. You can even leave a wish or a prayer to different deities should you choose. The entire place was so peaceful and beautiful. You could feel the presence of others even if you were completely alone in a room.

Hall of Epitahs
Hall of Epitahs

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Friendship Bridge
Friendship Bridge

The first thing you notice is the beautiful river Yi that runs right down the middle of the entire site. Even on this hot day strolling the river is quiet refreshing.

River Along the Grottos
River Along the Grottos

Then we began the long climb into the “hills” (they are more like mini mountains) to see the caves and carvings. I was in complete awe.

Caves aka Northern Air Temple
Caves aka Northern Air Temple

The pictures do not do this justice.

Each dugout is filled with carvings of Buddha’s and other spiritual beings. Some have simple designs and others are filled with great details. Some are very small, while others are hundreds of feet high. All carved hundreds of years ago by the faithful during their journey from India down the Silk Road on their way to Kaifeng.

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In one word- Breathtaking.