Bhaktapur – german-speaking Nepalis and beautiful architecture

5. + 6. April 2024

 

 

In the morning, a view from the balcony – and then later I sat down in the office to talk a little more with the agency owner Ranjit. A serious yet funny man, he’s on the right of the picture. In the centre is Pema, the hotel owner – and she speaks really good German. So does the guide of the travellers I met the day before. Somehow it confuses me so then I keep addressing people here in the “wrong languages”. And I am full of admiration: how you can learn German. The more I think about the language, the more complicated I find it.

 

Nana, Pema, Ranjit

 

Then I travelled to Bhaktapur. This is a city in its own, but on the way you don’t realise when you leave one and start another. As always, there was a lot of traffic and progress was slow.

 

little traffic

 

Bhaktapur is the third and smallest of the 3 royal cities of Nepal – Kathmandu and Patan/Lalitpur are the others. I was there for a few nights in 2010, but remember almost nothing except that I had severe bronchitis and was also feverish and tended to hang around in bed. This time I went for two walks and was there in the evening and the next morning. And then I thought that Bhaktapur is really pretty and you should really stay there overnight and not just take a day trip.

 

I have to admit that although I walked around, I didn’t have the time to really learn about what I saw. If you want to know more about Bhaktapur, have a look at Wikipedia.

 

But before I walked around there, I met the date I had made a few days ago! Olga was my travel client to Ladakh many years ago and after that I completely lost her to Nepal. We found out through Facebook that we were here at the same time. I was already quite fond of Olga back then and this time it turned out that even after many years it worked out well again with the talks. However, I didn’t meet Olga alone but with Sujana and her husband. Sujana used to be an au pair in Austria and came into contact with Olga there. After that, Olga made big effort for Sujana to be able to continue earning money in Austria. It was a real adventure how they managed it! She now comes to Ramsau every season with various related Nepalis in tow. She and her husband also both speak excellent German. I was amazed again!

 

Pub with later too loud Live Music

 

Groupselfie

 

Afterwards I walked through the streets and took a few pictures in the dark. A few months ago I wrote in the Kyrgyzstan blog that I’m no longer so enthusiastic about photography. But somehow it still appeals sometimes and when I still see pictures like these, I’m happy:

 

picture which I like

 

Otherwise, these are the pictures that came out:

 

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Many men sat together at the temples and played music and sang. Some of it sounded a bit weird, though.

 

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And then I went to bed to get up again at 6.00 am. Sleep was a bit difficult though, every time I wanted to doze off, the pack of dogs outside the hotel started barking loudly again. Stupid dogs! At 6.00 am it was already light and you could hear lots of people walking around outside. Only in my hotel everyone was still asleep and I had to wake up a gentleman in the lobby because I didn’t understand the door locking system.

 

And then I have to say that it was the best decision! Early in the morning it’s just a bit nicer and people go here and there, lots of women with pujaplates in their hands, paying homage to a deity here and there. Men also pay homage, but without puja plates. Besides, women always wear something with a lot of red, which is nice. And you can feed pigeons. I’m sure it’s good for something too.

 

I met another tourist-couple in the morning and a few were out and about in the evening – but the western faces were few and far between. It seemed to me that I was the only guest in the hotel.

 

And here are my morning pictures:

 

hotelroomview

 

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15 (the dog left!)

 

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There are more pictures that I think are quite good, but I don’t have to show them all here. In any case, the magical red morning light is also great and I really like these architectural building details and the atmosphere was also very nice.

 

Apart from that, I have to mention that quite a lot was destroyed in the 2015 earthquake in Bhaktapur and people were very unhappy about the destroyed culture. But it’s great and surprising what has been rebuilt here.

 

And then I went back to the hotel, had breakfast, drove back to Kathmandu, packed my rucksack and met the guide. It’s a bit of a luxury trek this time – I’m carrying my usual 8kg (plus 2kg of water), but I was able to give him some extra stuff and he’s also got ┬áspikes, poles, a thick sleeping bag and a good first aid pack.

 

I (unfortunately) can’t get used to fixed structures, so we’re actually taking a flexible approach and if we see that we’ll be back three days later, we’ll let the agency know and he can then be scheduled for the next tour.

 

I’m really looking forward to it. Tomorrow we leave at 3.30 am with a shared taxi. It’s going to be quite an expensive tour by my standards (not because of him), no matter how long we’re travelling. This is always an issue (for me) in Nepal. Tourist things are often very expensive (by the way, my stay in Bhaktapur cost me 13 euros in entrance fees alone).

 

I have no idea to what extent I have a connection and where you can buy one. I try to check the nmessages and emails often. But I can only continue the blog afterwards and that can even take 3 weeks…..