Nepal

[The View from Kathmandu, Day 5 – Nepal]

August 27, 2013

It’s interesting for me writing this post last. Most importantly writing this post now that I’ve had time to digest the trip and settle back into my first world existence. Having left the organized chaos of Delhi… this was my first experience with the disorganized chaos of taking 45 minutes to go 3km in unmarked roads.

Looking back I loved Nepal, although I was very taken aback by the amount of pollution int he actual city of Kathmandu. It seems the best place to visit according to everyone on the plane is Pokora. Still, here was a culture wher every last thing is used. It’s strange thinking about this in contrast to how much I just threw away while I was cooking dinner.

Getting ready for some airtime

Getting ready for some airtime

Heading through the clouds

Heading through the clouds

First signs of the Himalayas

First signs of the Himalayas

The flight we took was on the domestic Indian Airline Indi Go. This Jet Blue of India airline was over the top and hilarious. We soon realized that all the flights started with 6E i.e. Flight 6E 32 or 6E 31 which made sense when we saw the inflight magazines. “Hello 6E!” Yes… hello, sexy.

Hello 6E magazine had some gooooood meal deals

Hello 6E magazine had some gooooood meal deals

 

PHOTO FIGHT INSTRUCTIONS

This seemed like our best bet going into what I found out about halfway through the trip was the world’s most treacherous commercial flight landing. This includes a stint through the Himalayas, a hard right and a dive into a not so well maintained runway. All in all you have to admit it was pretty exciting.

Down to the runway...

Down to the runway…

We made it into the airport which had the standard developing world zombie theme of metal detectors you just walk through with no one operating them. It almost felt like we were walking into a store not an airport. Fortunately the visa process was relatively simple and we sped on through.

About to head into the city, this monk made me so happy

About to head into the city, this monk made me so happy

En route to the hotel!

En route to the hotel!

  We arrived in Kathmandu to our first hotel. I say first because we picked a different one for each night. The first was Hotel Shanker. This hotel was a palace built in the 19th century,  Nepal’s Late Queen Aishwarya was said to have been born here. Basically we were literally being treated like royalty. This included a full on procession of fruit, my favorite drink in Nepal (orange juice + mango juice) and chocolates of course. For under $40 each you have to admit that this two story loft style room was um, a bargain at the very least…

 

Home sweet (temporary) home

Home sweet (temporary) home

This photo via Hotel Shanker Website (obvs)

This photo via Hotel Shanker Website (obvs)

 

Our first day in Nepal was very rainy but we still had some adventures ahead of us since we had so little time. We wandered down to Asan Tole – essentially a series of roads crammed with silver, beads, scarves and anything you could ever want to bargain for. It was also a nice excuse to pop in and out of some stoupas.

We literally stopped for a picture before we started walking

We literally stopped for a picture before we started walking

See above... picture #2

See above… picture #2

Finally heading in

Finally heading in

As I mentioned earlier....it rained.

As I mentioned earlier….it rained.

Road work ahead

Road work ahead

That day I wore flip flops.

That day I wore flip flops.

We ducked into a small stoupa, at this point we were still doing it all wrong, we were definitely not walking clockwise which we found out the next day we were supposed to…

I took pictures of one of the women there, tried not to steal any puppies. They were adorably tempting.

Friendly welcome

Friendly welcome

Prayer Scrolls

Prayer Scrolls

New friends

New friends

Back to the street

Back to the street

Puppy in the rain :(

Puppy in the rain 🙁

Beads! I bought too many :(

Beads! I bought too many 🙁

 

En route!

En route!

We made our way to Durbar Square which is the main area of town. I will say I was warned that the saddest thing about Nepal is that there are beautiful places that can’t be maintained and preserved to due a lack of funds and unfortunately found myself agreeing.

There was also an amazing nine storied palace that let me tell you was actual nine stories. Granted, nine stories for much smaller people but still a long long long creaky nine stories. View ahead.

Himalayan Java!

Himalayan Java!

Durbar Square

Saris in the Square

Some beads, some unwanted "tour guides" later

Some beads, some unwanted “tour guides” later

Finally here!

Finally here!

 

We walked through the palace. The nine storied palace. At this point I’d like to say that Nepal makes me want a royal bath, everywhere we went I wanted one.

The Nine Storied Palace

The Nine Storied Palace

Climbing, Climbing, Climb

Climbing, Climbing, Climb

The view from the top....NINE storied palace

The view from the top….NINE storied palace

River deep, mountain high

River deep, mountain high

Back to th eSquare

Back to th eSquare

Eye in the sky

Eye in the sky

Finally wrapping things up

Finally wrapping things up

Bye, goat.

Bye, goat.

 

After all this of course we were very tired. We had basically not slept, taken a bumpy flight into Kathmandu and once again just powered through the day. It was safe to say we just wanted to sit down for dinner. Walking through the winding streets we made it past “freak streets” where all the local hippies come to visit and never leave and of course Thamel…the main area of downtown Kathmandu.

We had some Thalis *omnomnom*

Thalis at the restaurant

Thalis at the restaurant

Thamel

Thamel

 

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