Kathmandu, Nepal – Selected Photos

29 Jul DSC_0661

A definite highlight of my 32 day trip to India and Nepal was the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu. I got to spend good two days there, exploring its’ busy streets and World Heritage sites.

Kathmandu has seven (!!) UNESCO World Heritage sites in total so I had to pick and choose as to exactly which ones I wanted to see, plus leave enough time to just get lost and find myself in busy streets of Kathmandu Old Town as well.

The seven sites  include the Durbar Squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu and Bauddhanath and the Hindu temples of Pashupati and Changu Narayan. Because I spent extentive three weeks in India, I only decided to see one Hindu Temple and then focus my attention on Buddhist sites instead. As a result, I explored the Hindu temple complex of Pashupati, the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu and Bauddhanath, and Durbar Square of Kathmandu.

All four sites were incredible, and, needless to say, I have taken multiple photos of all, with different settings and camera positions. I would like to share a selection of just a few. These photos include all four UNESCO World Heritage sites, in addition to a few shots of busy Kathmandu streets.

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Feel free to share but please make sure you give me credit and link back to Lavender Reflections.

Thank you. All photos are property of Daria Pizzuto

Good morning, Kathmandu!

25 Jul

Today I have a full day to explore Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Technically, our tour was over yesterday afternoon, after the orientation walk, but I chose to extend my stay but one more day so that I can really spend some time in Kathmandu.

The other three ladies and I will see the three “must see” sites today plus we will have time for shopping :)

My flight back home is tomorrow morning.

Hope everyone has a good day!

Tibetan Refugees in Nepal

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Today our group visited an SOS school and orphanage, for Tibetan children only. We have walked the grounds, visited the inside, and met with the director who was also Tibetan.

Each house has a “mother” that takes care of about ten children that live inside. She cooks, does laundry and cleans. All children are up at 6AM (!) and have their own responsibilities – make their bed, straighten the toys. They are then dropped off at the school.

Inside each house is a display with images of His Holiness Dalai Lama and seven water bowls. On the wall, in addition to various pictures of Tibet, there are posters describing various English words.
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The director had told us that life of a Tibetan refugee in Nepal is very difficult. And here is why. No refugee can ever become a citizen thus not being able to ever legally work, neither for public or private company for it takes jobs away from the Nepalese. So, if you are a Tibetan refugee, you get a so called National card (similar to a residency permit) that has to be renewed every year. Yes, every year. The director was about 62 years old and he told us he has been renewing his card for many years and what a embarrassing process it is for you never know whether you are staying or going back.

Imagine living like that, not knowing…

Some Tibetan students are sent to colleges in India after graduating from SOS schools and there are quite a few success stories. They cannot, however, work legally or go to school in Nepal for reasons mentioned above.

Lukla Airport – One of the Most Dangerous

24 Jul

http://www.smh.com.au/travel/activity/active/up-up-and-afraid-20120907-25i7n.html

enjoy!

Good morning. Pokhara, Nepal

23 Jul

I am sitting in Baba’s Kitchen waiting for my breakfast to come out. Our group is staying at Baba’s Lodge (Father’s Lodge) for one more day before moving on to Kathmandu.

Baba’s Lodge is just the right name for this place. It is cozy, clean, and extremely helpful. Baba himself selves breakfast and inquires whether his guests slept well and whether they need anything. Baba is an older gentleman, tall and big. He speaks wonderful, almost academic, English.

The building itself is made of a terra cotta color brick (again, warm) with bright orange marigolds in planters everywhere. I love this place!

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Baba knows how to make coffee nice and strong (for us, Americans) and his breakfast is hearty and filling. Baba also likes to discuss the U.S. and have been to New York.

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Good morning to all from Baba’s Lodge in Pokhara, Nepal!

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Thoughts on Nepal

23 Jul

When a blog idea comes into my head, I write it down in one sentence. For instance, “willfulness”, “Jaisalmer waiters”, or “thoughts on Nepal”, or “India lifestyles”.

So far, we have spent a total of seven days in Nepal, with four more days to go. So, what are some of my thoughts on Nepal?

Nepal has been amazing. People are not pushy, private yet friendly. They greet you when you walk by. And although you know they’d like you to visit their shop, they are not insulting or pressing about it.

Nepal has Himalaya and I am in love with those mountains. Here is just a speck of beauty you will see when you trek in Nepal.
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Nepal has some wonderful cuisine. I love their Nepali noodle soup made with homemade pasta, potatoes, and chicken.
Hearty and filling.

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I also love their dish called mo mo or dumpling. Very delicious! But most of all, and I know it may sound strange, I love the pancakes they make! Pancakes and crepes are made fresh and are accompanied by chocolate, honey, bananas, or lemon. Outstandingly delicious!

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To be continued…

(All photos are property of Daria Pizzuto)

One Journal Is Finished…

23 Jul

Another one is on its’ way.

I am sitting in small organic cafe, in Pokhara, Nepal. Our group came back from our a trek and the rest of the day is at leisure.

My sweet, dear friend Heeni gave this diary to me for my birthday, a few years ago. I kept saving it for a special occasion and decided to use it as my travel diary during this trip to India and Nepal. I finished writing in it today so it lasted a very long time and provided a listening ear and lots of space to express myself.

On the back flap, it said it was made in Nepal from elephant dung for Barnes and Noble, NYC. When I saw that, I said, whoa, this is made in Nepal and I’m using it in Nepal to write about Nepal!
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For my friend, I am bringing a new, blank journal made of tree bark FROM Nepal that was made IN Nepal. I hope she likes it!

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Lastly, for myself, I purchased a new journal to start writing in tonight.

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New journals symbolize new beginnings for me. All that writing that is left behind has benefitted me directly and indirectly. Using a journal puts things into perspective for me, allows me to reflect and see that things are not as bad as they appear. Vice versa, journaling allows me to be grateful for things that ARE going great. And lastly, journaling lets me practice mindfulness.
When I write, I pay attention to how my journal paper feels, the sound my pen makes, and how thoughts lay themselves out on paper.

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