“My visit to Nepal has changed my life forever. I feel that right now, this country is the emotional epicentre of my entire universe. Never before in my whole life have I felt so comfortable, so natural, so peaceful in the face of so many contradictions & cultural wonders on this #CreativElenaRTW trip of mine. And this is solely, entirely, magically due to the incredible human warmth & natural sense of hospitality of the Nepali people. I am forever fascinated, deeply impressed and honoured by their presence. Their unfaltering, natural sense of humour and peace in the face of so many challenges.
‘We have a power-cut reality. Dust levels in Kathmandu valley are alarming. Traffic … Well everyone is king of the road here!” Rakesh and his heart-warming, disarming laughter. My first ever contact, and soon-to-be friend in this country of many riddles. Tuning into his natural easiness has allowed me to feel easy and natural here myself. How is this possible, I still wonder in amazement, in so short a time and to such a degree of intensity? I look out upon Kathmandu, the “City of Wood”, from my window seat on the plane … I want to be back here sooner rather than later. This country and its people have truly moved me to the bottom of my heart.”
Words pour out and into my diary as I sit reflecting upon my travel experiences of Nepal, and how meeting the very people of Nepal has helped shape my understanding of the world once more.
Nepal is a country of many realities. Steeped in an eventful history (and topography), its magic easily works on you – especially where the beauty of its people is concerned.
“Nepal is one of our favorite countries with the warmth of its people and incredible mountains.” – “Nepal … I have been there three times and I do not say this often, but I really must admit to falling head over heels for Kathmandu … I could easily live there for a while!” Words from my fellow travel writers who have already visited Nepal. The feedback I have received from all over the world reflects the same positive reality I have experienced while travelling here. Kathmandu especially has won my heart in many ways. One such way is travelling with the local people, sharing and eating their local food (“It’s amazing how you can digest just about everything, Elena! You are really meant to be here!” 😀 ) as well as being invited on truly special occasions as a traveller. Such as a traditional Nepali wedding ceremony!
“I have checked with my friend, and yes of course you can come … It is the wedding season here in Kathmandu, you know. My sister has a Sari for you, too. It will be very special!”
Rakesh Shahi, of Mystik Mountains Adventures & Holidays, is not only a great guide and resourceful, organizational talent for all things “adventures & holidays” here in Nepal, but has also become a true friend and like-minded companion spirit over all our shared travels here in Nepal. “Mine is connecting people … I believe it is all about giving you the very experiences you want!”, he would laugh and smile warmly, thinking of how to make things happen for the kind of local culture experiences I am interested in as a creative traveller here in Nepal.
Going local with food in Kathmandu: Think Himalayan coffee beans, “Newari” lunch plate & the “Garden of Dreams” …
Thanks to Nepal’s unique location in the subtropics and owing to its manifold hill & mountain landscape, virtually “everything grows here” – from rice to fruit to vegetables to spices to real “Himalayan coffee beans“! As a person indulging in creamy latte art coffee from around the world, I can truly recommend you to visit Himalayan Beanz coffeeshop as well as the “Garden of Dreams” and their “Kaiser Café” here in Kathmandu. Indeed, as the name suggests, the latter one has been developed by Austrians!
From staying in the central Tamil district of Kathmandu, it is a pleasant stroll to reach “Hanumandhoka” Durbar Square, the ancient heritage city of the Nepali capital.
I like “strolling”. It always allows you to feel the pulse of a city, I believe. The ‘coronary vessels’ of Kathmandu are pulsating with the shouting of street vendors, flowing to the pace of people and animals, as well as emanating the smell of whatever produce happens to be sold in front of you. Every now and then, a Bouddha Stupa little temple or shrine would rise from the ranks, with people stopping to turn its prayer mills and pausing for a moment of reflection. The largest among those in Kathmandu has really left me fascinated! My love for the beauty of expression to be found here in Nepal!
Check out even more travel photos from my visit of Kathmandu city & Sankhu village here in Nepal on my Flickr Photo Gallery:
Disclaimer: I have been invited by Mystik Mountains Adventures & Holidays on this culture / nature trip around Nepal. All opinions are my own.