Kathmandu, Let's explore

We have had a fun January with some visitors this month. People, this January has been COLD. To be honest it was a bit depressing when I would look at the inside temp of the house and it would be 45. I would think, ahhh, it has got to be freezing!

I mean, look at this, 9.5 degrees C. Not even close to 0. I promise, it is still cold. We have become accustomed to using many hot water bottles (Thanks for sending them Adrienne!) and little hand warmers this winter. Alas, the weather is warming up here and we are all doing the happy dance! This January my cousin and my brother and sister-in-law were able to visit. It is ALWAYS fun to have visitors. While my cousin was here we took her on a tour of Kathmandu. Look at these three. 

I spent the week with these three goofballs and on the weekend we toured! First, we went to Bhaktapur Durbar Square. A bit of history first. Many years ago in the valley of Kathmandu there were 3 kingdoms: Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. Each of the kingdoms have a durbar square where the kings would live and hold community meetings and festivals. All the the 3 squares had substantial damage during the earthquake, but varied degrees of each survived. I had never visited Bhaktapur, so we took my cousin there. Many of the temples and buildings there did not survive the earthquake, but it is still one of the best preserved squares in the valley. Many of the buildings are still being held up by timbers or bamboo poles. Bhaktapur is famous for their yogurt, which we loved and got some to take home! We hired a guide and it was totally worth it and we got many tidbits of information that we would not have known otherwise. Like that the king had one of his artisans hands cut off after he finished a masterpiece so he would never again create something that wonderful. Good times. 

We hired a driver for the day, so after we went here we headed to Swayambhunath temple. Also my kids call is the monkey temple, because, SO MANY MONKEYS! You have to be careful, those crazy things will steal things from your hands. This temple was also damaged in the earthquake but is one of the oldest in Kathmandu. It is a Buddhist temple so people will offer offerings here of rice or sweets (which of most is eaten by the monkeys). You can see much of the valley from this vantage point.

After our short visit here, we went to the square in Lalitpur called Patan Durbar Square. This is the closest to our house, so we know a bit more about what is around it. It was substantially damaged in the earthquake and there are still so many roads and homes that are being shored up with bamboo poles. We walked around the square and then had a snack at a friend's restaurant on the square. 

We had a fun time exploring the city that we now live in and thankful for guests who give  us the boost to do so. We had such a great time with my cousin here.

About a week after my cousin left, my sister in law and brother visited. They have visited the city before, so we spent much of our time chatting and enjoying the time together. 

It is so good to have some family visit. Also, the biggest news of the day is that the blockade between India and Nepal is over. The people of the plains have stopped blocking the border crossings, so we have petrol, diesel and cooking gas coming to the valley! I am again seeing shelves stocked with goods and the overflowing boxes on the floor. Never has it felt so good to walk into a grocery store and have to step over boxes. Yea for supplies! I am also fairly certain after looking at this picture that my children have too many dress up clothes, but hey, their mama likes to sew. Until next time.