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On January 13th 2019 my dad, Ramona, Galileo and I flew from Barcelona to Doha and then to Kathmandu, where Joe was waiting for us at the airport. After a night of little sleep (at least for the adults) we got to Nepal!
Flying with Qatar Airways was great! Very helpful flight attendants, spacious seats, with the option of having the baby bassinet for Galileo (that he used for a while, even if he almost didn’t fit!), and the flight was not full so we had a couple extra seats for us! So we flew as comfortable as it gets for being in economy class.
Once we got to Kathmandu, after dealing with all the visa and paper stuff we took a taxi to the hotel. We stayed at the Taleju Boutique Hotel in the Thamel neighborhood for 3 nights. It was nice to have a patio where the kids could run/crawl around, especially after seeing how busy the city can be!
We spent those tree days exploring the city, at a family friendly pace! We walked a lot, bought some souvenirs for my dad to take back to the family, we visited some Buddhist and Hindu temples and in general, we tried to get a feel for the country and its culture.
The city of Kathmadu is really busy and felt chaotic! There’s a lot of traffic, very narrow streets and no sidewalks for pedestrians (in most areas), so it felt a little overwhelming with the little ones. In general, it was a lot to take in for the first days in a new country! You know how it is, when you don’t have enough eyes to look at everything that’s happening around you!? Ramona was a little bit confused the first days. She would observe everything and ask you things like “Why do they have that red spot on their forehead?” or “Why do they where sandals if it’s cold?” She notices everything and I feel like the first days where hard for her (I guess for all of us!!), but it is also amazing how quickly we can adapt!
One of the most intense experiences we had was when we visited the Shree Pashupatinath Temple, during a Hindu festival. We paid a guide so he could tell is a litlle bit about what was happening, because that’s one thing we quickly realized, how little we know about their traditions and how different the cultures can be!. We saw a lot of monkeys running around and eating bananas and oranges. Apparently they are protected, just like cows, and feeding them gives the person good karma.
But the most breathtaking thing was seeing the cremation of a dead body, right next to the river, and the ceremony that that involved, while an festival was happening at the same time, on the other side of the river, with music and dancing and all!!
I would have never guessed that I would see a body burning right in front of me, and I have to say, it was quite unsettling, but after some time and seeing how they experience it, I think it was a very cultural and human way to get to know them better.
The forth day we took a flight to Pokhara!
It was the smallest plane I’ve ever been on! There were 18 passangers total! It was quite the experience, but actually more pleasant than what I anticipated! It was such a short flight (about 20 min) with beautiful views of the Himalayas. So, no complaints!
Pokhara is a beautiful city next to this big lake, sorounded by mountains! It is very touristy, because it’s known as a gateway to the Annapurna Circuit. But there’s much less polution than Kathmandu, and it is a little bit more organized because it’s a newer city. We stayed at the Vardan Resort N’ Apartment. It was very nice with the kids too because we had a little porch and some grassy area for them to play!
Some of the highlights of Pokhara:
- Sailing around the lake!
- Pokhara “Disneyland” Funpark! A little bit scketchy but pretty entertaining!
- Roasted corn. I Already loved corn but seeing Ramona starting to love it is even better than eating it myself!
- The beautiful views.
- And for sure, the craziest thing was Paragliding with my dad!!! (see more in the video below!)
- We did some hiking, with our new friends (and baby) we made at the hotel!
Overall it was a great discovery! Getting out of the big city, getting to see some more of the country, it was a good decision to go to Pokhara for a couple of days.
After that my dad when back to Catalonia and we continued our journey to western Nepal. But I’ll tell you more about that in another post!
Here is a video of my dad’s visit, during this first days of the whole family together discovering Nepal! I hope you like it! And maybe get excited to come visit too!?!