A Day Trip to Ayutthaya

 Have you ever been caught in a moment? Or stood on the foreground of a picture postcard?

Have you ever stood in a place knowing that someday you would be looking at it from the pages of some coffee table book, thinking with amazement that you have been there?

I've been lucky. There have been quite a few of those moments. One of the first was looking over the rooftops and ruins of Rome. I knew it was a "moment" when I touched my face, and was shocked to find tears. But now I guess you could say I'm a travel junkie. Always looking to catch that moment again. I could list for you all the amazing places I've been, the wonders I've seen (so far) but I won't. Those remain in my own mental catalogue, that I think over often and smile. Its my drug. What can I say?

Well, I got my fix last weekend. And it felt won-der-fulllll. My hun even remarked that of all four of us, I visibly enjoyed our trip the most. I couldn't help it. Because Sunday we walked, climbed, and crawled all over the ruins of Ayutthaya. We started out on Sunday after lunch, and arrived in about an hour on a gorgeous day. Driving into the centre, we realized we hadn't brought a single guidebook.

Thank god for smartphones.

Or you could just follow the elephants.

Oh, man, with the elephants again. Seriously.

We leisurely visited three sites. Starting with Wat Mahathat, where you can view the famous head of Buddha embedded in the base of a growing tree. We tried to keep the kids entertained as we strolled through the grounds, and then on to Wat Ratchaburana, where you can almost imagine how the temples used to look before they were destroyed by the Burmese army.

And as the sun was going down, we drove in to Wat Sri San Phet. (Beware of the guys claiming you must pay them 20baht for parking. It doesn't take more than a look to realize they are not legit.) The standing temple outside the ancient grounds was bustling with people coming to pay respect on the New Year and music was being played on the loudspeaker.

Here, if you wish you can purchase a small cage of birds, or a fish or turtle depending on what you need. The people selling them are glad to explain which to choose, for example, if you are hoping a sick relative gets better, or send off bad feelings, etc. Then you release them, so you may hopefully acquire good merit from the deed. Each purchase comes with some kind of prayer card to read as you do so, but stinks to be me, it was in Thai.

We spied on these people releasing their fish. Just for you.
You're welcome.

And then came that "moment." When I realized we were walking around and climbing to the tops of these historical spires. The moment when I could keep this image forever in my memory, not from a book, but here. In this moment. In person.

And as the sun finally set, we drove away, stopped off at a fish restaurant for dinner, and were driven INSANE by our two sweaty, exhausted children as punishment. It happens. And it was totally worth it for that "moment."