Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bhaktapur and Kathmandu - Saturday May 25, 2013

The wakeup call rang, Cal looked outside and saw there was a dense fog, so we went back to sleep.  Soon after 7:30 the fog did lift out of the valley and in fact for a brief few minutes we were able to see the tops of several mountain peaks.  We had a relaxing morning before leaving at 10:00 for the medieval city of Bhaktapur.

View from Resort Balcony - Notice Terracing

Rest Stop along the Road

Carrying Supplies

Carrying Manure to the Field
Cutting Wheat

Wheat Drying

Wheat on Street - Traffic completes the shelling

I really did not say anything about our drive up the mountain to Nagarkot.  From Kathmandu you drive east to Bhaktapur.  Beyond Bhaktapur the landscape starts to rise as you leave the Kathmandu Valley.  The last 15 km was simply climbing the mountain, with lots of switchbacks, ears popping, driving from one rural settlement to the next.  We were among the terraced fields, seeing the farmers working.  This area had lots of wheat that is in the process of being harvested.  Of course all of the work is done by hand. We saw them cutting the wheat, binding it in bundles, and carrying it by hand or on wagons to the shed. On our return drive down the mountain this morning, we again saw them cutting the wheat, but this time we also saw them beating the wheat heads off of the stalks – we saw only one machine, otherwise the beating was completely done by hand. Then the grain is laid out on large canvas tarps to finish drying in the sun.  We enjoy seeing this rural life. 

In Bhaktapur our driver dropped us a few blocks from the Durbar Square (Palace Square). We walked to the Durbar square, Pottery Square and Taumadhi Square.  We could have spent more time here, but we had an appointment with a guide in Kathmandu at 1:00.  Bhaktapur was very clean compared to Kathmandu. 
Entering Bhaktapur Dubar Square

Dubar Square Temple

Golden Gate

Pottery Square

Five Story Taumadhi Temple

Back at the Royal Singi Hotel, we had lunch and met a guide.  The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting the Durbar Square in Kathmandu, and the Monkey temple (as there are lots of monkeys living in the area).  By 5:30 we were dead tired, and hot.  We had seen lots of temples this afternoon.  The old (1500’s) buildings are beautifully carved from wood.

Kathmandu Dubar Square
White Palace

Dubar Square Temples

Four on a Cycle

Rick-Shaws - Want a Ride

Prayer Wheels at Monkey Temple Hill

Buddhist Temple - Eyes of Buddha

Kathmandu From Monkey Temple

Monkeys on Monkey Temple Hill

People Coming to the Temple

Native Nepal Dress with Apron

After relaxing in the hotel for 2 hours we began looking for a restaurant within walking distance.  We found Little Italy!  WOW! What a find! Pasta and Pizza!  

Tomorrow our guide and driver will be with us again.  We will be going outside the city of Kathmandu. We hope to avoid some of the city traffic and city masses.  I stated earlier that the masses were not in Nepal like in India, but today I am not sure that was correct.  However, today was Buddha’s 2557 Birthday, so there were some special things happening in Durbar Square. 

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