She Had A Passion For Traveling And Disguised Herself As A Peasant To Visit Lhasa In 1924, Becoming The First European Woman To Enter This Forbidden City In Tibet

While she was in Tibet, in 1924, its capital city, Lhasa, was closed to foreign visitors and considered a forbidden and holy city. Determined to see the city and learn more about its history and spirituality, Alexandra disguised herself using soot and Yak wool as a Tibetan peasant and took a tumultuous journey alongside Aphur Yongden to get in.

They stayed in Lhasa for two months, making her the first European woman to visit the forbidden city. Following her historical trip, she wrote “My Journey to Lhasa,” which is considered one of her best works.

In the late 1940s, Alexandra returned to Paris with Aphur Yongden as her adopted son. Philipe passed in 1941, and Aphur Yongden tragically died due to an illness in 1955, leaving her alone.

Alexandra continued to write books in her later years, writing over 30 books in her lifetime on Eastern philosophy, religion, and, of course, her travels.

Alexandra lived to be 100 years old and thankfully had the faithful company of her friend and personal secretary, Marie-Madeleine Peyronnet, during her final days. She passed away in France in 1969.

Her writing has inspired some of the most famous adventure and beat writers like Jack Kerouac, and she’ll always be remembered for her tenacity, willingness to learn, and explorations.

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