First Days in Kathmandu

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By the time we picked up our bags (unfortunately two trekking poles didn’t make it) and got through immigration at the airport, it was 9:00pm and dark outside the terminal. The arranged pick-up from the guest house worked perfectly … and we were in our room within the hour.

The night wasn’t too bad (I forgot how noisy the stray dogs are all night … deafening!) and we all slept quite late the next morning before we headed out.

Our guest house is on the edge of Thamel (the touristy part of Kathmandu) and very little seems to have changed since I we were here last in 2002. An endless mass of shops, selling everything us tourists need … trekking equipment, “local” crafts (mostly manufactured in China or Bali), coffee shops, restaurants and guest houses. A bit tiring after a few days, but also kind of fun. Especially for the kids, who want to stop at every store and stall because:

“The people are so friendly here!”

“Sure they are, they are trying very hard to sell you something.”

“So what dadd, that’s how they make money! It’s still nice!”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right. Sure beats the grumpy shopkeepers in Germany.”

Finn is mostly interested in used climbing equipment (especially oxygen tanks and masks), while Lara is drawn to the necklaces and beads. As you can imagine, we didn’t get through the day without purchasing a few necklaces … but so far we’ve remained firm on oxygen cylinders with Russian stenciling on them.

We’ve spent the first days with just walking through town, eating well and getting some errands done. Lara’s trekking pants needed shortening, Finn needed flip-flops … and we all needed to get our flights, guide and porters arranged for the Everest Trek.

In between, I had to be pretty tough with Lara in order to get her math work done … which didn’t go so well. Lot’s of eye rolling, complaining, debating and outright wailing … I guess we still have to find our rhythm 😦 The setting couldn’t be much more beautiful though, we have a great view over the city from the roof top terrace.

Our friend Ulrike will be arriving in a few hours and we’ll start showing her the sights tomorrow.

As always, the latest (pretty much unedited) pictures are on our flickr photo stream here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/uwefassnacht/sets/72157633008662866

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