Arriving and beginning our stay in Old Sukhothai
We arrived in Sukhothai around 8:30 after enjoying a good, but overpriced breakfast at the Novotel, and then, on the way to the airport forgetting to take Charlie’s camera out of the hotel van. The airport employees of Novotel were wonderful about contacting the right van and getting the camera bag to us in time to board the Bangkok Airways 7AM flight.
The airport here is owned by Bangkok Airways and the main building is a delightful open air affair with guards in helmeted British Empire get-up, standing at attention and looking incredibly cute and slightly embarrassed. Below are a couple of shots:
Once here at the Orchard Hibiscus guesthouse, run by inimitable Paulo and his wife, we walked around the grounds, shown below, and got the lay of the land, rode out on our bikes, thoughtfully available at the questhouse, and officially rented them from the bike shop in downtown Old /Sukhothai where I shot the row of pink bikes also shown below. Mine is boy blue, although I assure you that means nothing. Biking is the most sensible way to get around for us, though it took Charlie a day or two to get his cycling legs under him.
The next morning before dawn, Mike, Serafin and I went to the remains of the Wat Saphan Hin, where the Buddha statue shown below sits majestically and serenely at the top of a three hundred meter hill. It was soppingly humid yesterday morning, the mists shrouded the valley below, but the sun slowly burned through and gradually shined direct rays on the Buddha’s form, beginning at the base. Below are some shots that are, I believe, roughly chronological.
And finally, me beside the small Buddha to the right of the large statue:
This morning we went to a Dawn of Happiness Buddhist ceremony on an island in the Old Sukhothai Historical Park. Pictures of that to follow when I get a chance to download them off of the camera.