Tibet – Roof of the world

With every curve, the dark valley incisions opened up more and more and increasingly we saw the glitter of the sun light on the snow-covered mountain peaks. After hours on bumpy roads, the long-awaited view of the Tibetan Highlands finally opened up above 4000 metres. A unique landscape of arid and often colourful mountain hills, stony plains and river courses stretched out for hundreds of kilometres. Fascinated, our eyes wandered along the apparently endless deep blue sky, creating a feeling of being removed from the earth. The size of this mountain world is difficult to understand for us human and even photos can only express a small part of what we felt while looking around this breathtaking high plateau.

The journey followed the classic route via Tingri and Shigatse to Lhasa, which is the ultimate destination of every pilgrim and tourist. Passing mountains and lakes, villages and people, we observed with respect the hard life of Tibetan nomads and farmers. How could we understand even a tiny part of Tibet’s secrets without thinking about the people’s motivation or exploring their perspective of the world. We never had seen such a foreign culture, these deep respect for religion in every building, plant or animal. Waving prayer flags over the houses, prayer wheels on the walls, symbolic stupas and red-coloured temple buildings with roofs of shining gold. The singularity of this environment gave the surroundings something inexplicable and emblematic. Although any effort of sensless comprehension, the memory of what we have seen anchored itself deep in the soul.