The following are some places. Interesting photos with only minimal theme (well there is some).
Behind the Nechung Monastery is a small house and apartment. It is the residence reserved for the Dalai Lama on those occasions when he would visit Nechung to consult the oracle. It is cared for and its beautiful garden is tended to this day.
The Tolung River Valley. A beautiful refreshing river valley, very fertile. This river leads from the Kyi Chu river at Lhasa to Tsurphu, the seat of the Karmapa.
This is the view looking north from Kampa La. As one might imagine, mountains and mountain passes occupy a significant place in Tibetan lore. "La" is Tibetan for mountain pass. This is the first major pass after leaving the valley of the Tsangpo river traveling from Lhasa to Gyantse. It took about 2 hours for a Land Cruiser to climb up this idyllic-appearing ribbon of road (it wasn't idyllic... it was scary and it is a good road!)
On reaching the summit of Kampa La, 16,200 feet, we were greeted by the sight of Yamdruk So, The Turquoise Lake. It is regarded as both magical and sacred. It really is this color (even more so). The Chinese are apparently going to try to use it for hydro power or some other equally awful idea.
Note the snow capped 23000 foot peaks in the background.
Mountain passes in Tibet are marked with piles of stones and are often the sites of pujas or ceremonies during pilgrimages. The stones were said to mark the peaks for the benefit of the travelers following.
This 23000 foot glacier, Nechinghangsang is just west of the mountain pass of Karo La. It was beneath this glacier that the Younghusband expedition fought the highest battle (recorded in European history anyway) in 1904.
From the top of the hill one can appreciate the richness of the Gyantse valley. The current wheat crop is a Chinese introduction, replacing the traditional crops. This has perhaps lead to a decrease in the nutritional status of the Tibetans since 1959..
The major vista from the top of the Dzong is the Palkor Chode and the Gyantse Kumbum (see page on monasteries).
These views of the Palkor Chode were taken in 1994, and during the Younghusband Expedition in 1904. Note that the Palkor Chode had many many buildings, destroyed by the Chinese.
Decorated doorway, old Gyantse
Nyalaam. This is the view from just outside Milarepa's cave. One of the founders of the Kagyu lineage and a revered saint in Tibet, Milarepa was an accomplished yogi and meditation master who spent years in solitude meditating in caves. The view is south as this valley whose river predates the formation of the Himalayan mountains (!) descends through the Himalayas. (This river flows towards and not away from the Himalayas and empties through Nepal)