Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nepal in the spring

This visit to Nepal was longer and we had some ideas about what we wanted. We were both kind of stomach sick as we left Dhaka and were going to take it easy, if necessary. We didn't get the hotel we wanted, the Ganesh Himal, but knew to ask for rooms next door, if they couldn't accommodate us for all of the nights we'd be in Kathmandu. So we had access to its wonderful gardens, tv room, books, internet, and the people who take good care of the tourists. I spent much of Saturday reading in the garden (Lev Grossman's The Magicians, just a random book I picked up from the hotel's bookcase). So we stayed in the hotel next door for two nights -- it really was a cheaper option at $8/night, but by the end, we would have preferred to pay the other hotel its $14/night to have more hot water and electricity, and just nicer rooms!

(view from Ganesh Himal garden toward the hotel we were staying in)

(view from Ganesh Himal garden toward the GH hotel)

(one more direction from the garden)

Meanwhile we were figuring out where we wanted to go. We decided on a short visit to Nagarkot -- if the skies are clear, the views are fabulous -- all the way to Everest. We got a car with a driver to take us to a wonderful point way high up in the hills. Went through villages and forests to the top.

We saw the sunset and had dinner in a nearly empty restaurant. Matan said I shouldn't have told the Israelis "hag samaeh" (happy holiday), if they came this far to get away from everything. But if there are only 4 tables of people, I just hear the Hebrew. I didn't pull up a chair and join them!

View from our balcony towards the central part of the hotel.

Sunrise didn't yield the mountain peaks, but beautiful nonetheless. Come back in November, they said.

The way home had some problems with Maoist strikes shutting down the city entrances for 3 hours. Our driver would run ahead and say "tourists! tourists" to clear the road so he could get through the barricades. Seemed to be about equal numbers of strikers and riot-gear wearing police officers. One barricade wouldn't let us through. They had an ice cream stand set up, so I'm wondering if they were more serious or less? So we went around to another entrance. Got to see more of the city this way. We did need to get back to the city for the Passover seder, but we still had time.

(to be continued)

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