Yesterday Katherine and I explored Kathmandu – Dubar Square, Thamel and Swayambhunath. Swayambhu, or the monkey temple, was definitely the highlight of our day.
Heading to swayambhu is a great destination because from the top you can overlook the whole city. We were amazed at how big it truly is — as our visit has been limited to so few places (Patan, two different bus station, more Patan, and Thamel (the touristy section of Kathmandu)). Once you climb up all the stairs to the stupa, you have this amazing view of the whole city — it really is impressive.
Swayambhu is cool for a number of reasons. One is the view, the other is the stupa and the third is the monkeys! The stupa, in the center, is truly amazing!
What was really cool about this Buddhist holy place is that it is not just a tourist destination. Sure, there are plenty of tourists there, but there are also lots of Nepalis who come there to either check it out or to worshop (if that is the correct terminology….)
There is also a monastery on site that you can go into. When we viited, there were several monks meditating which involved chanting, drums and the traditional ‘horn’ (again, for lack of a better word). There were several monklets in there (ok, apologies — they are real monks, just young). It reminded me of the monastery that Sarah, Lindsay and I visited in Ladakh with all the young monks running around!
But, what we really loved were the monkeys! It was hard not to take a gazillion pictures. They made us laugh (and scared us a little when they came a little close) – though they did not seem to be bothered at all by us humans! One of the highlights was watching the baby monkeys playing on the prayer flags that were hanging down – they would jump out, grab on, swing for a bit until another one jumped on, knocking the other one off!
Here are some of our pictures:
The evening was topped off with Mexican food…. sure, in Nepal. It wasn’t amazing by any standards, but it was pretty good…. I’d go back. Though the feeding frenzy can now come to a close — I feel back to normal from the trek….
Today is just a rest day — we both woke up feeling a bit lazy and no real need to go see more temples today (although there is one on the docket for tomorrow). So – it has been a slow day – coffee, cafe, some shopping, lazy lunch with a salad and a beer…. feels like a vacation! which is nice to do once in awhile. The monsoon rains are over, though it is still quite warm during the day. Today, we could see the mountains in the distance!
Hard to believe that it has been about 6 weeks already….
Ok. peace out. I am going to go enjoy some cafe time and look for a book to read!
love – AK