Glory and Bhutan
Delhi (you last saw my bedroom there) was a lovely interlude, albeit too short, as always.
And yet there was a sense of adventure in the air as I left, accompanied by Michael and by Srila and Manjit. We had decided to spend a few days together in Bhutan.
You all who know me well, know that I love the Kingdom. I love the serenity of the country. I love its people. I love its Alpine feel on the slopes of the Himalayas. I love the fact that it’s a Buddhist country, that it cultivates the spirit of "happiness". And I find ever-so-interesting the fact that it’s ruled by an enlightened monarch who is actively transitioning the country to democratic rule.
We were lucky on the flight over from Delhi to Paro, as the skies were clear and we saw one Himalayan peak after the other: Daulhagiri, the 7 Anapurnas, Everest, Cho-oyu, Lotse, Makalu and Kanchenjunga. I must tell you that I had my moment of glory during that flight, as I was the only passenger that could identify all these mountains and the rest of the cabin was hanging on to my every word to know what we were seeing.
The conditions for landing weren’t as ideal as the sky at 30,000 feet, and the pilot couldn’t slide into the Paro valley the first time he tried. This got us a bit agitated, but the second try was successful and we promptly forgot about the challenge of landing so high.
A car ride away, we arrived in Thimpu to the comfort of the new Taj hotel. Our suite was huge, our bed very comfortable and the food was delicious.
Bhutan has come a long way in tourism. Just over the 10+ years I’ve going there, accommodation standards have improved from oldish Indian mountain-style inns to the luxurious hotels that we’re in the mood for these days.