Getting the Shot

bagan-1382

In my last post I talked about the many temples of Myanmar. Have you ever wondered what’s it like to take these pictures? Where for instance does one go on the level Plains of Bagan to get a horizon shot?

You go up of course.

If you have a couple hundred dollars to spare, you take a hot air balloon ride.

Or you climb to the top of a pagoda.

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Sometimes the pagodas have steps on the outside leading up. Other times the ascent is from within.

Remember though that these pagodas were built hundreds of years ago. People were a lot smaller then.  The steps and stairwells for these internal  ascents are … interesting.

Narrow, dark and steep best describe them.

At 155cm I am not a big person but even I felt cramped in the stairwells.  My size 7 feet barely spanned the  steps and the sharp sixty degree rise made for a precarious ascent.

The good news was that with the walls so close, I could brace my shoulders against them for support.   I really appreciated this  when,  at one point the floor fell away to a patchwork quilt of air and brick.

“Watch your step here,” our guide said.  His tone I thought, too casual for the situation.

On the way up, I didn’t take any pictures of the stairwell.

I was a bit preoccupied.

But here’s a picture of me contemplating the descent.

  pagoda-stairs

Bagan, Myanmar.  January 2017

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