We spent a week in total in Kathmandu either side of our other visits in Nepal.
It’s a bright, dusty, bustling city with travellers and friendly locals in equal measure. Windy streets spilling with vendors selling their cashmere blankets, scarves and silk pashminas in every imaginable hue.
Tiny cafes inside ancient establishments offering fresh fruit teas where you can sit and watch the world go by from the higgledy piggledy windows.
Splodges of citrus colours everywhere. From the Sadhu’s in their traditional saffron robes leaving crimson red Tilaka blessings on the foreheads of passersby, ladies selling their marigold garlands to take to the temples which are alive with incense and gifts from worshippers.
Durbar Square is the hub of the ancient city.
Still with injuries from the earthquakes of 1934 and 2015, it is what remains of the palace from centuries gone by. It sits in the centre of town with a network of market stalls, tour operators, restaurants and bars surrounding it. It’s overflowing with tourists and their cameras and for good reason. Most of the buildings there which are now World Heritage sites date back to the sixteen hundreds.
We visited Swayambhunath which is also known as monkey temple due to the hundreds of sacred primates that have made their home here. It sits on top of a tree covered hill, a vertical climb up three hundred and sixty five steps. Turns out I’ve got acute vertigo. When we eventually reached the top after making the final ascent on my hands and knees, G completely horrified pretending he didn’t know me, it was worth it for the somewhat hazy view over the city.
At the top it was busy with travelers and groups of people singing and praying together. And lots of inquisitive monkeys.
Some of them liked my biscuit offerings more than others…
There are places to buy trinkets and tea if you fancy, otherwise you can head in to the city for a bite to eat. We found a couple of places that we really liked and stuck with those across our two stops in Thamel.
Rosemary Kitchen and Blueberry Kitchen were our firm favourties for breakfast/brunch. Poached eggs, bacon (if you want it), good coffee. At Western kitchen we had a delicious traditional Thali dinner and the service was faultless, such nice guys.
There are so many beautiful parts of Nepal, that to stay in Kathamandu too long would be unwise but there are plenty of things to keep you going during a quick stop gap.