Kathmandu - Day 2

Kathmandu Travel Blog

 › entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
Flight over the Himalayas
Wow, what to write about today. At 5:30am we were taking a van to the airport to take an hour long flight through the Himalayas to see Everest. Vijay didn’t come with us, and the driver didn’t speak much English, so we were on our own to figure out how it worked. We got on the 6:45am flight—all of us with window seats —and then right as we were about to take off they said that they learned there was no visibility of Everest...did we want to continue? We really didn’t get a chance to answer - the plane took off. It looked like a lovely clear day, and we took a bunch of pix, but about 10 minutes into the flight they said there was no Everest visibility and turned around and brought us back to the airport. The airline, Buddha Air didn’t charge us anything.
Flight over the Himalayas
..they charge after the flight is successful! Crazy business model. Back to the hotel, and then Vijay and our local guide Satia (which means Truth) took us to the Monkey Temple, which I loved and could have spent another hour there. Gorgeous stupas, prayer wheels and prayer flags everywhere. Beautiful carved windows and doorways, beautiful trinkets to buy (I love that the souvenirs aren’t plastic crap), and religious blessings and offerings happening everywhere. It was just exotic and wonderful. Plus, it’s at the top of the hill, so you get a great view down onto the entire valley and the Himalayas.

Then they took us to the “mini-Varanasi” - a cremation site on the river. That was tough. The air is so dusty and polluted, and it’s worse there.
Flight over the Himalayas
There were a few cremations happening - Vijay recommended that Intrepid folks shouldn’t photograph that, but everything else was okay. He said the “holy men” walking around were fake - they charge for the blessings they offer, or for photographs. They were insistent, so that was a pain. Jeremy and Ewa got fake blessings anyway! We took a look around, but it was just oppressive to me...I can’t imagine it in the heat, and I think Varanasi is going to be overwhelming.

We grabbed lunch at a 4th floor restaurant overlooking a Hindu stupa. Had some “momos” which are effectively Nepalese potstickers, and a noodle soup. Then we wandered around the stupa and took some pix.

Vijay and Satia took us to a local art school where they specialize in a type of religious art.
Flight over the Himalayas
There was no pressure to buy, but I bought a painting which represents an aerial view of a stupa, with 24k gold paint (they showed us the real and fake...seemed sensible to me), and I love the painting. I could probably buy everything here.

When we got back to the hotel, Morgan rested, and I took a walk through the market with Christine and Ewa. The entrance passageway was right across the street from the hotel! I saw a few silk carpets like the one I have at home...one was $2500 and one was $1500...great prices but I can’t afford that!

We at dinner with the group at a place called Kay-Too...there was western and local food. I had a decent Nepalese thali and Jeremy recommended the Everest beer, which is definitely better than the other local beers.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Flight over the Himalayas
Flight over the Himalayas
Flight over the Himalayas
Flight over the Himalayas
Flight over the Himalayas
Flight over the Himalayas
Flight over the Himalayas
Flight over the Himalayas
Aerial view of Kathmandu
Aerial view of Kathmandu
Monkey Temple
Monkey Temple
Monkey Temple
Monkey Temple
Monkey Temple
Monkey Temple
Cremations by the river
Cremations by the river
Cremations by the river
Cremations by the river
Tibetan style stupa
Tibetan style stupa
Detail outside the huge Tibetan st…
Detail outside the huge Tibetan s…
View of Kathmandu from our hotel r…
View of Kathmandu from our hotel …
Traditional Nepalese thali dinner
Traditional Nepalese thali dinner
Kathmandu
photo by: sharonburgher