building partly overwhelmed by fig roots
In Ta Prohm. This is the kind of thing you’ve seen so often in pictures of Angkor
and environs: a ruined building overgrown by the roots of a giant tree.

Monday afternoon, 14 November:
part I: Ta Prohm

Savy explains Cambodia to John

This is Savy, our local guide while we were in Cambodia, and John is listening to him. Savy was a trove of historical in­form­a­tion. As Mark says, usually more than we could process. (Big image, small.)

After lunch, our guide Savy came into his own, since we would be visiting two of the three big historical landmarks that we (or at least I) had made this voyage for. The first was Ta Prohm, a temple dated to late 12th and early 13th centuries. Note that this is exactly the time-frame during which the Cathedral of Chartres was constructed in France. So you would not call these monuments ancient, just old.

The first statuary we saw as we approached Ta Prohm. The lady on the right is also in the left picture, but close up. (Left: big image, small; right: big image, small.)

There’s not much to be said about the pictures from this afternoon, just admire and wonder at them. And wonder exactly what is being portrayed.

people standing around in front of the ruins

Some photograph, others listen to Savy (big image, small).

empty windows, with sculptures

Unseeing windows (big image, small).

a relief over a doorway

Whatever is going on here, it seems so interesting that I wish that time had not done such a job of obliteration (big image, small).

confused scene in high relief

What in the world is happening here? (big image, small).

architectural false doorway

I liked the false doorway here (big image, small).

many colors, two tourists

I was fascinated by the var­i­ous colors, and I liked the composition with the two tourists (big image, small).

another doorway with an elaborate sculptured lintel

Note, especially in the big image how extensively this has been restored. Here, all the relatively green-colored stone is new. (Small image.)

roots invading masonry

The all-penetrating roots win out in the end (big image, small).

two men in a Ta Prohm gallery, one short, one tall
Big root embracing a building

The roots ! They’re everywhere ! (Big image, small.)

And so we wandered around Ta Prohm, ad­mir­ing the num­ber­less statues and end­less ruins. I took loads more pictures than I’m show­ing on this page, but one stands out, and that’s the picture to the left of John and Terry pausing in a gallery.

two women in niche

Two lovely ladies on a pilaster (big image, small).

woman in a niche

Love the hat ! (Big image, small.)

Actually, it’s four lovely ladies in all. What are they holding ? It would definitely help to know the meaning of the hieratic hand gestures.

decorative detail, in excellent condition

Decorative art (big image, small).

two women in a niche

Yet an other pair of lovely ladies (big image, small).

I guess we passed this little band on our way out of Ta Prohm.
I could have stood and listened much longer than we had time for. (21-sec.)

But enough of Ta Prohm. Let’s go on to Angkor Thom, for which I’ve set aside the next page.