All These Travels - Katmandu

Regular readers might have noticed I've been a little quiet lately after my big revamp I'm sure it seemed odd that I went radio silent for a few weeks... well I have a pretty good excuse for slacking on this blogging lark... I was in Nepal!

Girl pink dress and hiking boots,
Nepal is the most amazing place I've ever been. Truly I think its the best adventure I've ever been on and I came back feeling so transformed.  Nepal changes you and if you ever get a chance to go do not think twice, get on that plane and go!

Nepali Money on white background

Katmandu Travel Diary

We started our journey at Heathrow airport laden with heavy rucksacks and hiking boots on - the very epitome of Gap Yar travel chic. Despite the online check-in service thinking I was a 12-year-old everything went smoothly and we got through security with only minor slaps on the wrists for hand luggage infractions - we made a bet over whoever set off the security would have to buy the first round but we both failed so it was two cocktails at the gate instead. The flight to Turkey went smoothly, and though our expected layover was an hour we where met at the departures and marched straight through the maze that is Istanbul airport straight to boarding. On the Nepal leg of the flight we where sat next to a Nepal X Essex boy who got caught in our cocktail and tiny wine hysteria, we spent the majority of the flight giggling away and harassing him about what we should do in Nepal. 

Girl in pretty dress in Katmandu

We arrived at midday, after a bumpy landing and the most relaxed customs imaginable we were finally in Katmandu the capital city of Nepal. The sun was blissfully hot, the air was dusty and slightly spiced. We got our first induction into the crazy world that is Nepali Roads in the half hour it took to get from the airport to our hotel in Themal I think I might have said a prayer to every diety I could think of - mostly just asking for a seatbelt. Katmandu is a city of insane contrasts, day to night it is two very different beasts - in the day the shops are sprawling, the roads are unbelievably crowded and noisy but at night everything is peaceful. In fact, throughout our trip, we kept finding these little moments of serenity in the chaos of the city. A hidden away courtyard bar or a shady spot in The Garden of Dreams just a wall away from all the dust and bustle that is Katmandu, yet it felt a million miles away. 

Travel Blog garden of dreams

Nepali architecture has this old faded grandeur, battered by earthquakes and a rather brutal history this tiny country has a rich past and evidence of this is everywhere. Elements of English classical design can be found in all the historic buildings, with Indian design and Chinese influences also evident in this melting pot of a city.  
Nepal buildings
If Katmandu where a colour it would be Terracotta. Not burnt orange or brick dust or any other arty name you care to imagine. It would be Terracotta - simple honest and a little bit mad.
Travel diary terracotta

Nature is everywhere from beautiful tropical plants to wild monkeys that steal fruit from sellers, Due mainly to its large Buddist and Hindu populations rules on treating animals well the animals are unafraid of humans, street dogs potter in and out of beer gardens freely and cheeky Indian Starlings steal food where they can. A visit to Monkey Temple is a must, the Stupa is beautiful and the monkeys are plentiful. visit just before sundown to see the monkeys trooping back from their days commute into the city. 

Moneky Temple Katmandu

So what is the Nightlife like in Katmandu? Well, February is out of season for trekking so it's actually the perfect time of year to go if you're looking to get an authentic experience. The restaurants are quiet, the bars are pretty tourist free (two manic white girls drinking cocktails aside) and the service is exceptional. The food is a fusion of Indian / Chinese dishes, there are so many options for vegetarians and vegans it would make Shoreditch jealous - though fear not meat eaters the Buffalo is to die for. 

We left Katmandu at five in the morning on a cramped, hot tourist bus. The pink light of the sunrise illuminated the smog and dust of the city as we headed off onto the bumpy road to Chitwan...

Read more in my next post.

Gracie xx


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Interior Design blogging from a Country girl in the city. Trying to learn all I can about interior design, social media and making the best of this life.
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