Three Pagodas

Nicholas Quirke was relieved to have spent the night undisturbed by the police on 2 September 2020 and after checking with reception that there were no problems he was able to enjoy breakfast. The image of Dalis famous Comgahen Temple was a Haunting one and it was his priority in arriving in Dali to make the pilgrimage. It was quite a distance from Hotel and he had to take a Didi but close to the Ancient Dali town and he would combine the two ventures  the sight of the three pagodas peeking above the entrance gate was reassuring and exciting. Inside the grounds he started the journey through the ancient buildings and grounds. The iconic pagodas were constructed during of the Kingdom of Nanzhao and Kingdom of Dali in the 9th and 10th centuries. As he was absorbing this information and taking photographs he heard a voice say hello and as always he politely returned the greeting. The young man, Carl, took it as an invite to stick with Nicholas who found himself with an unofficial guide. It was actually the first time that Carl had been to the temple too but it was good to have some company and a translator for the banners written on each temple building.  The compound was vast and  just when they thought they had come to the final Building another extravagant demonstration of design and architecture revealed its self as the moved up the foothills of the mountain. I it transpired that his friend  worked for the government but was not at liberty to disclose his role, though he was able to get free transport one offered to drop him off at the ancient city on his way to the train station.  There was a street market taking place at the point he got out of the car and he decided to explore that though when he saw some small dogs on cages alongside chickens he sincerely hoped they were not for consumption, though China had recently banned the farming of canines and he trusted that it was merely selling for pet purposes. As he made his way to Dali Old town the blister which seemed to have doubled in size started to leak and by the time he got to the gate it burst and water gushed down his leg. Fortunately he was in navy blue shorts and the stain was not too noticeable. The Ancient city was full of authentic beautiful buildings but like many of old Chinas towns the narrow streets and ancient buildings had been turned into a commercial attraction and it was full of shops, snack bars, restaurants and gift shops. He enjoyed the atmosphere, had lovely lunch with some Rose liquor in a side street restaurant Which had been quite difficult to find and Stepping through a very derelict looking door which the map seemed to suggest was the spot, he found himself in someone’s back garden. He also explored the Ancient North Gate and particularly enjoyed the Dali Village Movie Museum, which really gave a sense of what going to the cinema in the village would have been like as well as some beautifully preserved posters and film camera history. He bought some coffee for Peng and then he enjoyed a tea ceremony with some local Pu’Er Tea before taking the long drive back to the hotel for a well earned rest and to treat the blister with iodine and Mr Ma cream. He sensed that when sleep came it would be deep and satisfying.

1 Comment

  1. Sounds like a good day and nice for you to have some company. Am Why we’re you relieved to have not been disturbed by the police, am I missing something? x

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