I get so exited sometimes that I just cannot sleep, like when I am in the snow or travel… so on day 2 in Kathmandu, I was wired as… when I woke up and HAD to go on a walk through Thamel with Patrick before breakfast. It was exiting to see the shopkeepers setting up their kiosks, dogs stretching their limbs, people sweeping (forever sweeping…), kids walking to school…
After breakfast we visited Pashupatinath, yet another Unesco World Heritage site. This is one of the most revered Hindu pilgrimage sites and cremation ghats situated at the Bagmati river. The place had a very special atmosphere; families praying with holy men for their loved ones in one place, bodies being cremated in other places, and everywhere monkeys and holy men… I was very proud of our girls taking everything in and being so open minded and respectful.
In the afternoon we visited Bhaktapur, one beautiful small town that suffered terrible damage in the earthquake. Sadly, it also suffered severe damage in the 1934 earthquake and international aid enabled the rebuilding of this architectural masterpiece and then 2015 struck and… destroyed all that beauty yet again…
And then it was my birthday! Now I won’t expect this sort of surprise every birthday – because it was just amazing… Patrick took me to MOUNT EVEREST before breakfast in a tiny airplane!!! And as if that was not enough of a treat – our beautiful travel agency arranged for a cake and they all came to sing happy birthday for me and to send us off to our trip to Pokhara and trekking adventure!
The rest of the day we spent in the bus, travelling 200km took us all day – and I did not have a single dull moment looking out of the car window… tailors with their pedling machines mending clothes on the pavement, women washing themselves and their children at the public cold water tap, children playing, men quilting mattresses, lads fixing motorbikes, dogs sleeping, goats nibbling, cows chewing.
i was amazed to arrive in Pokhara – a substantial city – and still see goats and cows treating the roads as their territory, fires being lit on the pavement for groups of people to huddle together to continue conversations after dark, veggie patches institutionalised at every empty space between housing… all in all, just a huge village, really!
On the following day, we spent the day in Pokhara looking at various sites. Temples, museums, the lake… the most impressive two experiences were the Tibetan refugee camp and a boat ride on the lake, where we saw two boat loads of Buddhist monks reinacting the Pirates of the Caribbean thing – it was very funny!