Saturday, March 2, 2013

Guangxiao temple

Today we had to sit around until 11:00 because our guide said she would call before then if Thalia's "bloody test" (as she calls it) was not good and would require a trip to the hospital for a chest X-ray. As soon as 11:00 rolled around, we left and caught a cab to Guangzhou's Guangxiao Buddhist temple. We decided to eat lunch first when we got there, so we went to VegeZen, which is one of a handful of vegetarian/vegan restaurants near the temple. VegeZen is completely vegan, so it was nice to be able to have anything we wanted on the menu. We got fried tofu, fried noodles with veggies and mushrooms, fried rice, and a sesame chicken-like dish made from seitan. We ordered dumplings, but they never arrived. It was ok because we were stuffed with what we got.

After lunch, we walked next door to the temple/monastery. I realized I'd forgotten my camera and I was so mad! It was a beautiful place and my phone camera just didn't do it justice. :( It was very cold for Guangzhou (mid 50s) and we got rained on a bit, but it was a great experience. As you can see from the information we took a picture of, many of the buildings are extremely old. It's such a miracle that places like this survived the cultural revolution.

We were delighted to see that this wasn't Thalia's first exposure to a place like this:

After we finished at the temple, we picked a street and started walking. We walked and walked and walked! We stopped at a cute little bakery and bought some treats, and then bought some ironwood chopsticks from a little stall. They're my favorite kind, but sadly, many of ours have inadvertently made it to the trash. I was glad we could replace them.

After that, we stopped at KFC because they had a kids play land. I tried to order bottled water, but they didn't have any. I tried lemonade. No go. I tried 7-up. Nada. I finally ended up with a Pepsi. I felt tremendous guilt since I haven't had caffeine in 18 months, but it was a small so I don't feel all hopped up or anything. ;) I realized too late that part of the reason it tasted so refreshing was that it had ICE! Ugh! I hope I don't regret it later.

Now we're back at the hotel watching a movie. I think we might go swimming tonight. Tomorrow we have a van reserved for the whole day. We're going to church in the morning, and then to the wild animal park. Should be fun!

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