Nepal Day One: Kathmandu
Gosh, it feels like a long time since I wrote a travel post. Most of my summer snaps turned into vlogs with their subsequent posts taking a more reflective twist. But then don't so many of the words that end up on here have that musing upon the recent past element about them?
I am in the process of pulling together a vlog of our wonderful trip, but editing it is lost in the endless articles that I have had to read for my senior thesis over the past two days (I'm making real progress though, guys!) and thus I thought I'd throw a few shots together to give a little overview of what we did. It was a manic five days, four of which involved plane rides, and it really felt like we saw a lot of Kathmandu and Pokhara.
We started at the fantastic Bouddanath Stoupa, with those stunning eyes staring out at us as we sipped coffee in a cafe across the road. The scaffolding has sat in place whilst everyday Nepalis put the structure back together following the devastating earthquake that hit them eight months ago.
Having visited Kathmandu in 2014, seeing the remnants of damage everywhere was shocking. The attitude of everyone we spoke to was so inspiring, though. Rather than lamenting over their great misfortune, people pulled together to start repairing relics across the city. This incredible structure has existed since the 5th century, and as we sat we saw a monk calming painting across the bottom.
One of the things that I particularly love about Nepal, and Kathmandu in particular, is the colours. The vibrancy of the buildings catch your eye as you turn every street corner, and these prayer wheels were a particular favourite of mine. Buddhists have a really efficient way of praying: they write words of prayer on paper and insert them into the wheels, so that the prayers are sent as the cylinders spin. Neat, right?
You may have spotted this familiar face, since she graces just about every vlog and travel post that I ever make, but it's time to give her shout out (although if you spot my code names of bae, beloved and the love of my life, then you'll realise she gets rather a few shout outs). Hands down though, so many of the incredible photographs and videos of me on here are thanks to her patience and eye for detail. What a wonderful woman, aren't I lucky?
See what I mean about the colour? I had to laugh at this monastery, inside it had the most exquisite painting, and on the outside solar panels reigned supreme on the roof. Somehow I don't see any cathedrals catching on any time soon...
As the sun began to set on the square, the Stoupa began to darken to the most stunning gold colour. I had barely spent three hours back in the country at this point, and already I was thrilled with what I was seeing. There is so much to say about the way the Nepalis are treating what so many would regard as a tragedy, but that's for a future post. I also snapped thousands of photographs, so this certainly won't be the last one on my adventures in Nepal! But for now I would just say that if you have never visited Nepal, I would urge you to do so (or if you have, go back!).