Tour 12 - Olana - Hiking -  Monastery

We will start our tour at 7:00 am. We will meet at 2nd. Ave between 80th and 81st Street in Manhattan by H&H Midtown Bagels East. DON'T BE LATE! Please come 15 minutes early to check in.

You will be greeted by your tour guide for the day. You will sign our liability waiver, and after departure a light breakfast will be served on board the coach.

 

 

We will start the day with a guided tour of the Olana State Historic Site. This site is the former estate of artist Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900). This architectural masterpiece was created by Church for himself and his family. Church was one of the most renowned American artists of the Hudson River School of painting. The stone, brick, and polychrome-stenciled villa is a mixture of Victorian and Persian styles.

 

 

The interior remains much as it was during Church's lifetime, exotically furnished and decorated with objects from his global travels, and with some 40 paintings by Church and his friends.

From the property you will experience amazing views of the Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountains. Olana was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

 

Next we have some hiking on the program; you will have the option of 2 different guided hikes:

Option 1:

STISSING FIRE TOWER:  A 1,000 feet steep ascent to a historic 88-foot fire tower with a 360 degree panorama overlooking the mid-Hudson Valley, the Southern Taconic Plateau and the Catskills. The participants of this hike should be in a good physical condition. The hike is approx. 2 hour roundtrip.

 

 

 

Option 2:

 

THOMPSON POND: This is a 2 hour easy stroll around a pond. The pond was designated a National Natural Landmark in May 1973 for its remarkable diversity of plants and wildlife.  387 plant species, 162 bird species and 27 mammal species has been found here.

 

 

Last we will visit the Chuang Yen Monastery. The monastery was built and is maintained by the Buddhist Association of the United States.

The monastery grounds contain several prayer halls, dormitories, a dining hall, a memorial area and a library. Most of the buildings are built in an imitation of Tang dynasty architecture

 

 

The main hall contains a 37-foot statue of the Buddha Vairocana - the largest Buddha statue in the Western hemisphere. Encircling the large statue are 10,000 small statues of the Buddha on a lotus terrace.

 

We will drive back to NYC. Arrival back to NYC at approximately 7- 7:30pm.

 

What to bring and wear on the tour:

ID: Please bring a valid government issued identification. (Adults only)

CLOTHES: according to the weather,Upstate NY is usually cooler than NYC.

FOOTWEAR: Hiking Boots is the ideal or if you do not own hiking boots sneakers with good traction will do as well. Do not wear sandals, dress shoes or high heels.

WATER: In a plastic bottle, especially on hot days. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

CAMERA: With extra film/memory highly recommended. You will experience breath taking scenery.

CASH: Although our tour is classified as an "all inclusive". It is advisable to bring some cash for souvenirs and gratuities for the guide which is left to your discretion.

AN OPEN MIND: Although this is a recreational/leisure tour, you will also learn about geology and some history.

   

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