|The name of the place in large letters.|
At first, my friend Sarah and I didn't want to climb anymore because we felt too weak and achy to climb after our adventure at the falls. Our friends were eager to go though, so we let them go ahead while we looked around to soak in the cool air and the scenery.
Brace yourselves for another photo journal entry. Here are some of the scenic spots and views around the shrine.
|A very impressive sculpture fronting the shrine.|
|The shrine with the imposing statue of Jesus Christ at the top.|
Here's a closer look at the whole shrine. The number of steps made our knees feel week and the cool morning breeze didn't help as it chilled our exposed legs since we were wearing shorts. I thought our attire was not allowed for climbing the shrine as well but luckily, it was not a problem.
|The steps to the top of the shrine and the stations of the cross along each row.|
|Lots of people visiting very early in the morning.|
|Friends eager to start their climb.|
|Another selfie just for the record.|
While our friends were going thru their climb, we went around and explored the grounds. We found some very interesting things to photograph.
|The ground was covered with these blocks carved with messages.|
|View of the mountain from the Shrine grounds.|
|I had to take a picture with the blue sky as well.|
Off to one side of the shrine grounds is another attraction for those who do not wish to climb or those who had just come down from the shrine. We enjoyed looking around and admiring everything. We also enjoyed a vegetarian breakfast at one of the food stalls in a section of the shrine ground, but that's for another story.
|Entrance donation required but well worth it.|
|Chat and talk awhile in the lounge area of the Garden of Eden.|
|Of course, Adam and Eve are in the Garden of Eden.|
|Animals from Noah's Ark are also here as part of the playground.|
Noah's Ark was closed at the time we came by so we couldn't explore inside. But it had a Japanese-inspired bridge and pond beside it which was also cute and charming.
|A very zen place to be.|
|We wanted a photo on the bridge, with some of the fish.|
|This charming bridge serves as a viewing deck for the many colorful fish in the pond.|
|Not to0 coy, these coi fish.|
|It's hard to catch them with the camera.|
|This was the path to the eatery on the shrine grounds.|
We followed the path to the eatery and were delighted to find ourselves a vegetarian food vendor. We regained our energy after the breakfast and we decided to climb the Shrine. Our friends had just come down form their climb and had their breakfast. They promised to wait for us to finish our climb.
One of the best things I saw at the start of the climb was this pond of clear water. People were throwing coins to make wishes and say their prayers.
|A very zen feel to this pond despite the number of people around it.|
|I just had to take this picture.|
|We were tired but we were determined for the climb.|
There were stations of the cross on each row of the climb but there were so many people it was hard to take pictures.
At one of the stations, we encountered this dog who seemed to be waiting for its owner and was very sleepy. Or maybe he was just admiring the view? He was sitting on top of one of the boulders along the steps. I wish I could take him home.
|Doggie looking out for its owner?|
|Doggie looking very sleepy.|
We couldn't get inside the chapel at the top because it was already full. So we contented ourselves with a selfie and a snapshot of the amazing view.
|We finally reached the top!|
|View of the town of Lucban from the top of the Shrine.|
|We had to include ourselves in the amazing view.|
We didn't stay long because we had friends waiting for us but I was wishing we could. I wanted to just sit on the grass and revel in the view and maybe meditate as well. But with all the people around, it was going to be hard so we opted to go down right away and just relish the memories we made of this place.