Stupas and Durbar

November 3, 2012   

Last bit of shopping done – purchase of three synthetic down jackets for my nieces and nephew for Christmas sking. Then we walked to Durbar square where they wanted a heafty entrance fee so instead we walked around the outside of the square for lunch on Freak St.

The square was where the city’s kings were once crowned and from where they ruled. It is the heart of old town Kathmandu and if there wasn’t so much dust and pollution it would be possible to make out the erotic explicit scenes that adorn the roof struts. We didn’t concentrate much of the buildings as we were trying to beat off touts attempting to sell the boys flutes and chess sets for 5 times the price at Folk Nepal. Rob’s line was pretty good when the tout told him very good made from sandlewood he replied I live in a sandlewood forest! We retreated to a roof top terrace with a resturant which had a very funny waiter and alright food.

The group split with the girls and Gerry braving a bone shaking taxi ride 5km out to the Bodhnath stupa built sometime after AD600.

The dome is whitewashed with a gilded tower painted with the eyes of the Buddha. A few worshippers were constantly prostating themselves to the stupa while tourist spun the prayer wheels and took multiple pictures of the prayer flags. We again retreated to a roof top and watched the sea of humanity below. A peaceful way to look at the monument. Before another taxi ride which wasn’t as bad as the one out there as the driver stuck to the main ring road instead of the pothole ridden side streets.

Kathmandu is indeed a strange mix of a very few fancy buildings containing shops and hotels surrounded by areas that look like a bomb was dropped and nobody has done anything to rectify the situation.

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