I took about 300 pictures over the three days I was there. I would happily sit each of you down for the full slideshow--there are many excellent ones! But I have a feeling I would lose all of my readership pretty quickly if I did that. I'll try to pick some of the more inspiring highlights.
'To give you a sense of how monumental these ancient (Buddhist and Hindu) temples are, the first doorway is somewhere around 7ft tall. The steps on this temple (Ta Keo) were very steep and plentiful. My muscles ached for days after climbing to the top! On a conservation/restoration note, many of these temples were actually completely taken apart and rebuilt as part of a conservation effort!! Can you imagine?
The iconic trees of Ta Prohm. This was my favorite of all the temples. As a former biologist, current conservator, I'm very interested in biodeterioration. Ta Prohm was covered in all kinds of biological materials, including these gigantic trees. Apparently this one was in Tomb Raider, but I don't know anything about that.
The biodeterioration of the temples really lends itself to some gorgeous images. Greens, orange, black--all kinds of colors have developed over the delicate stone carvings of the temples.
One of the many wonderful things about visiting the Angkor temples was that they can be appreciated on so many different levels. As you arrive at each new temple, you are impressed by the scale, the shapes, the colors. As you go closer, you climb steps, enter through passageways, and find all sorts of interesting and beautiful details. I found myself wishing that I had a sketchbook with me. I would love to sit for hours in one spot, and see things through the eyes of an artist: capturing each small detail and relationship in order to really appreciate and understand what I see.