On Friday morning, we started out with a walk in the park. This wonderful park is only a few blocks from Simon and Vera’s downtown apartment. It was absolutely full of people walking, running, doing Tai-Chi type exercises etc.
One of the first things that we saw was this shrine…..
Followed by this exercise class…..
I loved this exercise bike…..
And then there was this outdoor gym…..
We passed one food vendor and he insisted that we buy a roasted banana and roasted sweet potato……
I enjoyed watching people purchase from the soup vendor. The buyer would get a plastic bag, add whatever herbs and greens that he wanted…..
So, after trying various street foods, Michael found his Mecca…..STARBUCKS……
The laughter in this picture is because Simon (in his dry Aussie humor) had just said that “Michael wasn’t ordering a double espresso, but rather calling himself a “dopio”!!!
In the afternoon, Simon had to go off to work so Vera took us out to visit the Grand Palace. We walked to the Elevated Train Station and took the train for a few minutes, then hopped onto a water taxi.
As we were walking to the temple, we strolled thru a sidewalk market and the first thing that I saw were……
The Grand Palace was gorgeous, but unfortunately there was a torrential downpour (it IS the rainy season here) just after we entered the compound, so we did not get to see a lot, but sheltered under the main temple so did get to take some photos there.
This is the main compound. As you can see, they like their “bling”!! The golden dome really showed up against the darkening sky…..
One funny story (at least to Vera and myself)…..we had to remove our shoes before we could enter this temple complex and dutifully placed them on metal shelves by the stairs. When it started raining, we didn’t think about the fact that Michael had worn close toed shoes with socks, and that those shoes were rapidly filling up with water as it rained. When he picked them up, they weighed a TON and he happily squelched his way back home again!!!
I love this photo which was taken on the corner of one of the long hallways….
Being true to my nature, I found wonderful quilting designs. These concrete etchings were innocently placed at the bottom of the railings all around the building. I took several photos, but could have easily used up another 100 frames with the different designs…..
This was a vat of holy water and the people would pick up one of the flowers, dip it in the water and then sprinkle themselves with it. We watched one young couple spend a long time there dipping the water into a plastic bag. Vera said that they were probably taking it to be sprinkled on a sick relative or something of that sort. I guess that the luck was better if they had to work hard to retrieve the water as they were using a bottle cap to dip into the vat.
This temple houses a golden Buddha but you were not allowed to take photos inside the temple, so here it is from a LONG distance away……Vera said that there are different sets of clothes that are put on the Buddha depending on the season. Many people were sitting or kneeling on the floor of the temple and I was interested to see a sign that said not to point your feet toward the god. Apparently, the bottom of the foot is considered to be bad luck.
When we left the Palace, we tried to catch a taxi to the nearest train station, but they all wanted to charge WAY too much (200 BAHT) so we ended up walking to the water taxi and then returning home the way that we had come.