Posted by: benphia | November 23, 2008

Waking up in Kathmandu… again.

Today we began our first of two tourist adventures through Kathmandu and the surrounding areas. We contracted a taxi driver for pretty much the whole day to take us to Boudanath and Swyamboudinath (excuse the spelling), and to sit in some crazy long traffic/people jams.

(Ben talking)
It was a difficult day as I found myself wrapped in the pressure of “sight seeing” and unable to really grasp an appreciation for my surroundings. Unlike the wilderness, where each day was sight seeing adventure that felt relaxed and I could soak in all the beauty and culture, these locations were hard to appreciate with all of the bustling of the city.

(Sophia talking)
There is an interesting juxtaposition in Kathmandu where commerce comes right up to religious sites and surrounds them (sometimes people set up shop right on the stupas). These spiritual sites are unlike what I normally think of as a quiet place away from the chaotic world of everyday life. The sounds and traffic and everyday life is right there. As are the tourists. Thankfully, we had several peaceful experiences on the trek visiting monasteries and sitting in on a puja. That definitely felt like a world away from Kathmandu.

It’s been a whirlwind day, and we’ll go back out again tomorrow for another one. Maybe we’ll get some relaxing done on some of the 40 hours of travel we have in store for us in a couple of days?

Benjamin + Sophia

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