After the visit to Pashupatinath Temple we left Kathmandu and drove to Bhaktapur which is 30 minutes away from Kathmandu. The Changu Narayan Temple was another old Hindu temple but turned out to be the one we liked best so far. On the way to it we passed through an area that produces a lot of bricks but also has agriculture as everywhere in Nepal (after tourism the most important sector).
As with most temples or stupas we exited the car below and ascended via stairs to the holy building. The way was framed by little shops on both sides, offering all the goods we had already seen at the other sites. But here instead of monkeys some chickens were checking us out.
Upon our arrival on top we got clear instructions on how to deal with the minimal begging. If people beg then they just sit beside the way and open their hands but they are not accosting you.
The temple was a simple wooden structure but with some intricate details and a monkey guardian.
The monkey sat watch before the entrance and checked what goods had been sacrificed that he could eat.
And one more picture in front of temple. As you can clearly see it was taken by our guide.
Another short car ride brought us to Bhaktapur the third royal city in the Kathmandu valley. It was also the least modernized city we had seen so far. Our guide had to pay our entrance fee upon entering the city by car. The streets were not tarmac (not that the other cities had so many paved streets to begin with) but these here were similar to the cobblestone streets in old European cities, just done with bricks. No wonder after seeing so many factories.
We started the visit of Bhaktapur with a lunch break and the best Momos Sylvia had so far. I went for salad and some greasy noodles while the guide got some fish and chips. The fish was not fried interestingly.
After this invigorating meal we drove first to our hotel in Bhaktapur the Bhadgaon Guest House. We got the room right on top overlooking the Taumadhi Square on the 5th floor or so. Of course no elevator but we had a nice young guy carrying both bags (and looking as if he died underneath the weight). Here a picture of the room and the view from the bathroom.
After refreshing ourselves, we met the guide again and started our tour right at the Taumadhi Square and then went in a circle around the inner city.
In the back streets it all looked a bit different, darker an smaller. Still people were always friendly and smiling.
And then we were finally at the Durbar Square of Bhaktapur (did I already mention that all three royal cities have a Durbar Square?) and met the obligatory temple, palace, statue of the king on a pillar etc. What I loved most here was that the square had been turned into a pedestrian zone and it really improved the quality of our sightseeing.
I also liked how all these historical buildings are part of every day life, they were not just there to admire but to actually enjoy them.
After we were back at our hotel we said goodbye to our guide (and I am sorry to say that I don’t remember his name because he did a really good job), had a Nepali coffee at the hotel and then went shopping. Sylvia bought a local outfit in the colors yellow and lilac and then we had our dinner overlooking the Taumadhi Square were a band played. It was actually our first night out and already with music! Way to go!
The white stuff in the middle of the plate is uncooked flat rice (don’t know how they do it, but it is thin as paper and crunchy), and you eat it all with the soup. I am glad I tried it, but it will not become my favorite dish. Oh yeah, the big thing to the left is a hard-boiled egg fried again.
And here you can see the band playing here, the music was not good so that is not what I wanted to show you, but look how dark it is. There is almost no street light and most of the lights you see were coming from hotels and restaurants catering to tourists. Not much later we went back to the hotel and called it a night.
*all pictures taken on April 24