Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kathmandu - Day 1

As we warned you yesterday, posts our trip to Nepal are going to be a little photo heavy. Hopefully we've reduced them to a size where they load up quickly and if you don't feel like reading you are free to just scroll down and look at the photo titles.

We took a flight out late in the afternoon last Thursday which got us into Kathmandu just before midnight. After dealing with the simple issues of trying to barter for a taxi and then finding out that the airport ATM was out of order we were shortly in our hotel room and sound asleep. The 2:15 time difference confused us and we were awake by about 7:30 local time to find no power in our hotel room - at breakfast they inform us that the city has scheduled blackouts, usually in the morning for them, but that they can't really say when it will be.

After a quick breakfast we head out to see the city, our first day we've decided mainly to just wander around and make sure that we get to see the UNESCO site of Durbar Square. Off we go...

The rough street to get to and from our hotel.
Coming out of one of the many temples in the city.
A neighborhood stupa we find tucked away on our walk towards Durbar Square.
It was crowded everywhere, streets filled with cars, people, bikes, motorbikes, and rickshaws.
Small pigeon filled area in Durbar Square, there are also two cows in the photo.

People of all ages are carrying goods to and from the markets.
View of Durbar Square from a rooftop restaurant.

After a few hours of walking and snapping photos we finally decided that we should stop and get some lunch, and what better then a nice rooftop restaurant right inside of the whole Durbar Square.
My meal was a plate of oats...
...but desert consisted of a local whiskey (it was rough).

A good meal and a few beers later we were back on the wandering path. Tina and I had similar meals with lots of small foods that were then dipped in oats for me and eaten with rice for the meal Tina selected.
The afternoon crowd wasn't any less then the morning crowd.There were lots of balconies like this, many old buildings look like they are about to collapse.

After all our wandering we headed over to a built up bar area, full of western bars, restaurants, and local shops selling all sorts of goods, it was another crazy busy place to wander through, only at night it is filled mostly with foreigners and thus markedly different from the crowded wandering we had spent the day doing.
The bar at the Rum Doodle

We finished the night at the Rum Doodle pub, where they had covered the walls and ceiling with signed footprints of the many people that come and attempt (or successfully do) climb Mount Everest, apparently starting with the signature of Sir Edmund Hilary. The place was packed full of people, but we managed to secure two bar-stools in the corner where we could relax and enjoy a nice wine and the music of the band....

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