Journal

Nepal (Days 23-26) – Thamel, Photos, Bhaktapur 16 July 2009

We are tired, homesick, and have thousands of photos to review, delete, and/or share!! Kunsang

So we spent the next few days – in the unpretentious and lovely Excelsior Hotel, owned by Achi’s Tibetan friends Kunsang Dorje and Jigme – in the heart of Thamel, the ‘Georgetown’ of Kathmandu. We worked on photos, enjoyed lots of Indian and Nepali food, wandered the streets and shops on foot, and never sat our bums in a vehicle! And Jigme is a jewelry artist, so I was delighted to purchase a sampling of her beautiful wares. :)

We went back to the Garden of Dreams to enjoy the quiet calm and for their wireless internet, gardenwhich turned out not to work for us so we ended up sitting in their nice office for hours on the wire, blogging. We also read, and slept in a lot – we have been rising early for many, many days, which is NOT in our nature, so that was lovely! Every morning we were able to order cappuccino in the hotel restaurant, though our last day there we discovered several really nice coffee houses we had missed – oh well.

On our last day in Nepal, our guide Prabin once again provided his excellent services and took us to Bhaktapur, potteryabout one hour’s drive from Kathmandu. It is one of the original four Newari kingdoms of Kathmandu Valley and is well-preserved, much as it has been for centuries, with very little vehicular traffic allowed. It is essentially a Newari artists’ colony, conch-shaped, with delightful, narrow, curving and zigzagged streets. Once again we marveled at the exquisite woodworking on all the windows, doors, balconies, and pillars, including the famous and intricate peacock window. We wandered around many temples, through a palace, a hand-made paper factory, a pottery square, and other shops, and lunched on the top floor of a pagoda restaurant in the Temple Courtyard with a wonderful view of all the comings-and-goings below. I could have spent several days there just wandering around, exploring…and shopping!