Boudhanath was meant to be a minor stop on the way to catch a glimpse of the mighty Himalayas, but I ended up becoming sucked in by the place. I’d been told that you always walk clockwise around all Buddhist and Hindu temples, rooms and structures. So I followed that advice and spent the better part of the afternoon walking around the stupa, climbing level after level until I reached the top where I turned back down but kept going around, descending one level at a time.
I watched the people and their customs, I drank in the smells and just allowed myself to be right there in that moment. The thousands little colourful flags stimulated my eyes and mind; I could’ve easily spent a whole day in that square, people watching and just enjoying the warm sun, letting it warm my body before the cold of night when I’d huddle under 3 pairs of blankets while still wearing my thickest sweater.
This stupa is one of the few UNESCO sites that went relatively unscathed from the earth quake. A few of the surrounding buildings collapsed, but the stupa itself still stands with the face of the Buddha watching over the devastation wrought by nature.
This image was taken from the balcony of a rooftop restaurant at Durbar Square in Kathmandu. The mountains in the background are barely visible through all the smog.
Many of the buildings you see in this photo are no longer standing, a silent testimony to the force of nature.
The white buildings you can barely make out on top of the smaller hill is the temple of Swayambhunath, also known as the Monkey Temple after the holy monkeys that live in the north-west part of the temple complex. More images of that, much more close up, will follow.
Kathmandu was a magical place, it really saddened me to hear the news of the earth quake that devastated the city and all its rich cultural heritage. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been there so recently and just before the disaster and was able to see all the magical sites around the city.
So with this I begin a series of images where I remember Nepal in all its beauty. Many of the buildings, and quite possibly some of the people, you will see in this series are no longer there. They were shaken and reduced to a pile of rubble. However Nepal has seen the terrible force of nature before and they rebuilt. That is what is happening now, as we speak, the resilient Nepali people are once again gathering their strength, everyone pitching in to rebuild the nation.
This image is of a monk at Kathmandu Durbar Square. He stood there, almost motionless, the entire time I was watching him, hardly even flinching as the pigeons flew all around him. It was while I was taking this photo that I was approached and asked to be photographed myself – the tourist became the attraction. With my long, strawberry blonde hair I had then and my 186 cm height I stood out from the crowd. Yet another fond memory of one of my favourite places on Earth.
Man it sucks getting back. But it’s also really great. I don’t know which. Nothing beats seeing new things and experiencing the world around you, meeting new people and finding new bars to get drunk in. But then there’s getting home to a safe haven. A place where you feel protected, a place where you know all the ins and outs. Nothing can surprise you. Except your little brother who came back early from Australia and now occupies the room you thought you’d be spending the next month in. Lucky for him I really like him.
Also this coming home stuff has made me realise that as much as I love travel blogging and writing I also hate it. It’s time consuming and you never find the time while on the road, and if you do you’re not a true traveller. How can you find time to publish an entry every damn day? You must really not have a life at all and never go explore the real city. I bet you just sit there and copy from the guide you grabbed at the airport.
Off with the rant.
I have realised something on this trip however. I have in my mind really worked on how I want this blog to grow and transform. My decision is that it will only be a blog, a personal account of my wild and stupid and also extremely boring adventures. I don’t aim to earn any money from this blog. It’s just a way for my narcissistic ego to shine. So don’t expect to find any click bait here, no posts titled “First he did this, watch what happens next” or any other crap like that. This is a cost I will eat just to make myself feel important and to give you something to read when you’re sitting there at home, wherever that may be, wishing you were somewhere else.
I do appreciate having random people like what I post, and read what I write, even though I rarely think it’s any good. So keep doing that. I promise I will put up some more stuff from the trip, like make a narrative or something like that. Hey, I need to feed my ego man. Don’t judge me.