Touring Kathmandu, Nepal

Day 2: Monday 2nd January 2006.

Sightseeing in Kathmandu 

Both Rose and I had a reasonable night’s sleep but I am still waking up very early. I think I must be still working on South Australian time. After showering and dressing we went down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. At nine o’clock we were picked up by our guide for the morning. We got in the mini-bus bus for the half hour journey through the city. I am constantly amazed that there are so few accidents. The traffic is barely organised chaos. We did see one policeman on point duty at one busy intersection. I have not yet seen any traffic lights. Our driver had to dodge pedestrians walking everywhere. Then there were bicycles, motor cycles, trucks, buses, all sorts of cars, taxis, dogs, cows, ducks but the monkeys seem to keep to the buildings and trees.

 Temple visits

We first visited a Hindu temple and monastery. We were able to witness a cremation on the opposite river bank. Our guide was very good at explaining everything. We then travelled to a Buddhist stupa. This was a magnificent structure made even more colourful by the thousands of prayer flags strung up from the edges to the top. Around the edge there were many prayer wheels. Pilgrims were circumventing the stupa turning the wheels as they went. We visited a temple nearby.

 Shopping in Kathmandu

We were also able to watch a group of Buddhist monks painting designs relevant to their faith. Each painting took three to four months to complete. We were free then to wander around and do some shopping in the bazaar around the perimeter of the stupa. Our guide invited us to visit her shop. Rose and I both bought some beautiful pashminas from her.

We also visited a carpet factory. Here we watched a group of Tibetan refugees making beautiful carpets varying in size from less than a square metre up to four by three metres. It was a shame that they were too big to bring home in a suitcase. The shop section can arrange for export to anywhere in the world, but I didn’t ask how much it would cost. The whole enterprise has Swiss financial backing.



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