Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nepal: Touring the Kathmandu Valley

Over the next three weeks, I'm taking a trip down memory lane with a look back at our trip to Nepal last December. For all of the entries about our trek, click here.

On our first full day in Kathmandu, as part of our trek package with Earthbound Expeditions, D and I took a full-day tour of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley. It was a six-hour whirlwind of "temples, temples, and more temples" (as I wrote in my travel journal), each with its own interesting history. Here are a few images of the sites we saw:

Swayambhunath, the Monkey Temple

Durbar Square

Pashupatinath Temple

Boudhanath Stupa

Prim (our driver), me, Ram (our city tour guide), and D at the end of a long day

After our tour was over, we came back to our hotel and immediately took a short nap. (I needed to sleep off a pollution-induced headache; due to its valley location, Kathmandu is terribly smoggy and smoke-filled). Later that evening Rajan met us at the hotel and introduced us to Bharat, who would be our guide on our trek in the Himalayas. We were also given our complimentary down jackets, which we would soon come to love (and live in) during the cold nights and early mornings high in the mountains. After an unsuccessful attempt to find one of the recommended cafes listed in our Lonely Planet guidebook, we ended up back at our hotel's restaurant for dinner. After reorganizing our gear and charging our electronics, it was off to bed, as we had an early get-up the following morning to meet Bharat for our flight to Lukla.

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