It has been a busy morning and now we are off and over the mountain.
First stop Nu’uanu Pali Lookout. Here Carol, Bear and Bearbette posed for a photo.
Nu’uanu Pali Lookout is located on a section of the windward cliff of the Ko’olau mountain. It has a panoramic view of the windward (northeast) coast of Oahu with views of Kāneʻohe, Kāneʻohe Bay, and Kailua. Dramatic view. Normally it is very windy up at this lookout, but not today. Almost no wind at all.
The Nuʻuanu Pali was the site of the Battle of Nu’uanu, one of the bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history, in which Kamehameha I conquered the island of Oʻahu, bringing it under his rule. In 1795 Kamehameha I sailed from his home island of Hawai’i with an army of 10,000 warriors, including a handful of non-Hawaiian foreigners. After conquering the islands of Maui and Moloka’i, he moved on to Oʻahu. The pivotal battle for the island occurred in Nuʻuanu Valley, where the defenders of Oʻahu, led by Kalanikūpule, were driven back up into the valley where they were trapped above the cliff. More than 400 of Kalanikūpule’s soldiers were driven off the edge of the 1,000-foot cliff to their deaths.
In 1845 the first road was built over the Nuʻuanu Pali, to connect Windward Oʻahu with Honolulu. In 1898, as this road was developed into a highway, workers found 800 human skulls—believed to be the remains of the warriors who fell to their deaths from the cliff above.
This tree has a very unusual trunk. It was as we walked out from the lookout.
From here, we drove to the Valley of the Temples. Valley of the Temples Memorial Park is a memorial park located on the windward (eastern) side at the foot of the Ko’olau mountains, near the town of Kane’ohe. The park features a 1968 replica of the 11th-century Phoenix Hall of the Byodo-In Buddhist temple complex in Uji, Japan. Inside the main part of the temple is a 9 feet (2.7 m) Amida Buddha statue sitting on a gold lotus leaf.
I could not pass up taking the photo while this young lady from Japan was getting ready for her selfie.
From the back of the temple.
And the side – notice the turtles on the rock.
And here is the statue of Buddha.
And I took some photos of a few of the cats around the temple.
And there were a couple of Black Swans that were given to the Temple by Japan.
And there were what seemed like hundreds of Koi.
As you walk around the temple there is a smaller Buddha set in a nature setting, with a small waterfall nearby making a quiet place for mediation.
The Bell House contains a five foot high, three ton brass bell, called bon-sho (sacred bell), cast in Osaka, Japan, from a mixture of bronze and tin. It closely resembles the bell hanging in an identical Bell House at the Uji Byodo-In. It is revered for its distinctive shape, and the tone of the bell sounds a message of deep calm and peace, cleansing the mind of evil and temptation.
The resonant sound of the bon-sho creates an atmosphere of tranquility for meditation that travels for some distance. A soft wooden log called the “shu-moku” is used to strike the bell.
Ringing the bell will purify the mind of evil spirits and temptation. It is said that ringing this bell will bring you happiness, blessings, and a long life.
Here is Carol ringing the bell.
And as we walked out from the bell, this was the view of the temple.
But not to be undone by all the beauty. I got to see my first Mongoose. I was told it is a baby, but I don’t care – I saw one and it saw me.