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We have settled in nicely to an almost "normal" life. While normal far from describes our lifestyle these days it is nice to have a place that we come back to each night, a bed that has become comfortable, and knowing where all the light switches are and what one turns on a particular light. We've gotten used to the half dozen daily power outages...thankfully we have a full battery backup that powers the refrigerator, cable and Wifi. Water service comes and goes with pressure and supply sporadic...once again a reasonable workaround solves that hurdle. It is all small stuff compared to living in such a peaceful place. And of course the monkeys scampering across the roof at all times of the day and night add to the scene nicely.
We walked over to the India embassy to get our visas on Monday. We dropped into the local "surpermarket" for a few supplies and then dropped everything off at home before heading down to the center of the city to witness the Cow Festival. Gai Jatra (The Cow Festival) is an annual event, much like "El Dia de los Muertes" in Mexico when families celebrate passed loved ones. They don costumes and step into the streets with chants and horns and cymbals. It was a very festive event and everyone seemed to be enjoying the celebrations of life. We walked a bit over five miles, a lot of it in the procession itself. The smells from the food vendors were intoxicating.
My birthday in on the 28th of the month and Bobbie suprised me with dinner at the Garden of Dreams. The Garden of Dreams is a neo-classical garden built in 1920. Designed by Kishore Narshingh, it consists of 74,220 sq ft of gardens with three pavilions, an amphitheater, ponds, pergolas, and urns. From the mid-1960s, upon the death of its patron, Kaiser Sumsher Rana, it lay in neglect but was recently restored with the help of the Austrian government. We arrived after sunset and the lighting made the mood even more spectacular. There is a very posh restaurant on site and the meal, although a bit expensive by Kathmandu standards, was outstanding. There were only four other tables and the waitstaff was very attentive and charming...as usual.
The following day our adopted son Surya treated us to a lovely day tour of Kirtipur, an ancient city of Nepal and the original site of the building of Kathmandu. It is located in the Kathmandu Valley 5 miles south-west of the city center of Kathmandu. High on a hill overlooking the sprawel of modern Kathmandu,t is one of the most famous and religious places to visit with temples and stupas dating back to 900 AD. Some of the homes are over 150 years of age. There was considerable repair still going on as a result of the earthquake of 2015.. We had a guide and wandered the streets for a couple of hours. What a lovely day and wonderful gift.
We ended the week being pretty lazy. Cooler afternoons with a bit more rain freshened things up. I got a bit of art down, finished two projects, and we began preparations for our four day trek into the mountains on Sunday.
Sixty-eight trips around the sun and still going strong...