October 23-25, 2015: Hangin’ in Kathmandu, Part 1

Spent our first two days in Kathmandu relaxing, meeting fun people and seeing some of the cool sites in and around the capital city. Check out photos below!

Miles walked:             14.5
Miles transported:     ~10

Hanging out in and around Thamel

The awesome and lively streets of Thamel/central Kathmandu:

Kathmandu 1, Thamel - 1

Kathmandu 1, Thamel - 2

Kathmandu 1, Thamel - 3

Remaining devastation from the earthquake:

Kathmandu 1, Thamel - 4

Kathmandu 1, Thamel - 5

Pharmacies of Nepal:

Kathmandu 1, Thamel - 6

Kathmandu 1, Thamel - 7

Cooking our dinner right up there, on the tables of the upper terrace:

Kathmandu 1, Thamel - 8

Resulting in a delicious dinner with a massive pot of tea, for $3.60 (total). Francy is obviously pleased (he’s more Jewish than I am!):

Kathmandu 1, Thamel - 9


Swayambhunath (The Monkey Temple)

Met up with our new friend Faye (we met her on the flight in from Doha, she’s from the U.K., this is her SIXTH time in Nepal, and she’s here for some trekking and awesome volunteer work), and together we took off for Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple). Saw some pagodas that were still damaged from the earthquake on the way:

Kathmandu 1, Swayambunath - 1

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 2

Welcome to Swayambhunath!

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 3

Well, almost… still have 365 stairs to climb:

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 4

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 5

Monkeys!!

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 6

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 7

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 8

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 9

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 10

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 11

A picture of us taking a picture of monkeys:

12

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 13

I know they look cute, but they can be nasty little buggers! One jumped on Faye and scratched her arm (she had to get a rabies shot!) and one jumped on me and almost bit me before I shook him (or her, you never know) off!! Anyway, here’s a little montage of monkeys being monkeys:

Finally made it to the top! Beautiful view of Kathmandu:

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 14

The hexagram, obviously very significant in the Jewish religion, is also a symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism (though I’m not entirely sure what it means and I don’t have the time or energy to research it right now):

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 15

More damage from the earthquake:

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 16

This incredible view:

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 17

The holiest of friends Samsonite has made yet!

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 18

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 19

Prayer wheels:

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 20

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 21

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 22

Saw this little dude having a grand old time on our way down the stairs:

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 23

And finally, this awesome photo (in my opinion) that Francy took, though he doesn’t like it:

Kathmandu 1, Swayambhunath - 24


Patan Durbar Square

We then took a rickshaw to Patan Durbar Square. Poor dude was strugglin’ and couldn’t make it all the way (especially up the hill)…

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 1

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 2

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 3

So we did a bit of wandering to get to the square and saw some cool stuff along the way:

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 4

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 5

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 6

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 7

Patan Durbar Square:

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 8

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 9

We asked around for the Kumari (The Living Goddess), and some random tour guide who was off duty heard us and offered to take us to her, no charge. It was an amazing experience! Apparently it’s a real rarity to be able to see her, let alone be blessed by her.

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 10

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 11

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 12

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 13

She wasn’t allowed to hold Samsonite (he was devastated):

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 14

Blessed, apparently:

Kathmandu 1, Patan – 15

Our awesome “tour guide”:

Kathmandu 1, Patan - 16


Shree Pashupatinath Temple

On our way in, saw these kids rocking it on this makeshift swing:

Kathmandu 1, Pashupatinath - 1

Kathmandu 1, Pashupatinath - 2

And these badass dudes:

Kathmandu 1, Pashupatinath - 3

Pashupatinath is one of the sacred temples of the Hindu faith. The dead are brought here to be burned, in ritual, and then the ashes are “spread” into the river. When we got there, a very special ceremony (perhaps for a young police officer or someone of importance, we weren’t sure) happened to be taking place:

Kathmandu 1, Pashupatinath - 4

Kathmandu 1, Pashupatinath - 5

Kathmandu 1, Pashupatinath - 6

A young girl was standing across from the ceremony, seemingly protesting the events (though we obviously couldn’t understand what she was saying). She was very quickly carried away by the authorities:

Kathmandu 1, Pashupatinath - 7

She was replaced by this cool dude:

Kathmandu 1, Pashupatinath - 8

All those pillars of smoke are burning bodies. Eerie and disturbing to some, perhaps, but fascinating nonetheless:

Kathmandu 1, Pashupatinath - 9

Kathmandu 1, Pashupatinath - 10

Heading home on the local “bus”:

Kathmandu 1, Pashupatinath - 11

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