Saturday, November 03, 2012

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Bhaktapur

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:00 PM

Today E and I took a taxi to Bhaktapur, the second thing I wanted to do in Nepal. The journey was a little over 30 minutes and the view of Everest was ever present. The taxi left us at the entrance to the Durbar Square and we paid our entrance fee. Why did they make the tourists pay to see the place while anyone can go in free from the other side. The morning was quieter and the temples were more impressive. There were 3 major squares in this town, and we walked to all 3. Dattatraya Square was the
smallest with only 1 temple. Not much to see. Not impressive at all. Taumadhi was the most impressive. The Nyatapola temple with 5 levels, had a long staircase flanked by elephants, lions, and griffins. E liked ceramics so we went to the pottery square. The pottery had no color nor designs. Next we argued pricing and with 700 rupees more, the taxi driver took us to Changu Naryan, an Unesco site, up on a hill. On our way, we passed through golden fields of hay, with people harvesting. A glorious magnificent sight that reminded me of Bruegel's Harvesters, brilliant painting. The golden fields were very lovely. E had been in Changu Narayan years before and said the place was very quiet and tranquil. However, commercialism had polluted the place and now it had nothing but souvenir shops. Up on the hill at the end of the single road, stood the oldest temple in the area. Then finally we went to Patan, the city E liked the best. However, again, it was now littered with tourist and local people. It's no longer the quiet town which took E's heart away. We lunched at a restaurant overlooking the Durbar Square. The square was indeed beautiful, intimate with temples close to each other. It was my favorite Durbar Square. But being Saturday, everyone was out and there were many tourists. When afternoon came, more and more tourists and traffic poured in, to a point where I seriously had enough and wanted to get away. Before returning to the hotel, we made a brief stop at the Himalya hotel because E said it had nice views of the mountains. But this too was changed. They were building a complex right in front of the hotel, thus making the view less clear. The view was not impressive anyway. The mountains were far. I had wanted to go to Nagarkot see the mountain range as the reviews said it offered the best sunrise and sunset views. R who's been there, said it indeed had nice views of the Himalyas but the town was very small and offered nothing else to do. Since we got back later that I've planned, Nagarkot would have to wait for another journey. We again dined at the hotel and I had the veggie chow mein which was actually pretty good. I leave tomorrow so this evening I sat in one of the gazebos in the garden to silently unwind. Kathmandu is not a place I'd like to return to. But who knows, the tallest mountain range on earth might be worth a second visit.

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