Sunday, November 2, 2014

Nepal: Bhaktapur, Patan, and Nagarkot

Nepal is one of the most beautiful countries we have ever visited.
This is a really long post with all of the pictures from just this single day we spent exploring these three areas. This is just a fraction and best of the pictures that we took this day and I have thoroughly enjoyed the trip down recent memory lane.

The day started with an early morning walk through the neighborhoods to Durbar Square.

Random building door

All along the way, there were people set up on tarps and blankets selling perishables. It was in that moment that it dawned on me that we had not passed any grocery stores, and this was where people attained their goods for the week.

Vegetable market

The spicy section

The fruit section

Making marigold leis

Salt is sold by the rock

Spice market

After breakfast we all loaded into the vans and headed into the mountains. We would be spending the night in Nagarkot, but stopped at the villages of Patan and Bhaktapur along the way.

Walking around Bhaktapur

This temple is the residency of the Kumari, a small girl who is worshipped as a living goddess. It is actually quite fascinating. Adam came across THIS ARTICLE about the most recently released Kumari from this actual temple. It is a quick and interesting read, if you have a moment.

Sacred animals

Not so sacred, just wheeling through the street

Temple in a tree

Want a ride?

An afternoon in Patan

Prayer wheels

Prayer wheels

I could explain these prayer wheels to you, but Wikipedia did such a nice job HERE.

Not your average door frame

Drying the pottery in the sun

Firing the now sun-dried pots

Locals enjoying a game

Where we had lunch

Knives with a gun show

Had to talk Adam out of this, pretty sure we could not have this in our carry on

Anyone for a round of Parchessi?

Chris really like me, indulging my "need" for this shot! Thank you for being awesome!

I wish that we could have spent more time exploring these two incredible villages, there was so much to see and absorb. It was so relaxing and stimulating at the same time. One of the things that struck me was just how simple life is here, and it felt like a nice escape for a while. Not that I envy what their daily lives are like, in the mostly impoverished country that relies heavily on tourism, but there is something nice about the lack of materialism (not that they all get the choice, I realize).

And into the mountains we go. And it was painful. I was sitting in the front of the bus with the driver staring straight ahead the entire time. I do not wish that level of car sickness on ANYONE. It was so bad, that when we paused at the bottom of the road to the hotel I jumped out and walked, refusing to get back in. There was only half-a-mile left of the journey, but I seriously could not do it anymore. I wasn't the only one either. So if you are planning this sort of journey, bring the dramamine!

Rice paddies

These are the public buses, yes, people ride on top, because they are so full

Views from our hotel in Nagarkot.

Hello Himalayas!

Dan, our multi-talented tour organizer