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First Impressions of Nepal From One Volunteer

Well the last few days have been exciting as well as overwhelming. For my first trip to Nepal, the place has been more then what I expected. My first day on the 22nd of June was spent getting used to the culture and being guided through the busy streets. The roads are narrow and at every avenue there are stalls selling numerous foods and items that interest the senses and pipe your curiosity.

When we got to our destination, the temples of central Nepal, nothing prepares you for the majesty of the Hindu Temples of Durbar Square. As you gaze at the intricate and delicately carved frames and windows of the temples, you try to make out all the carved animals, gods and peoples in the patterns on the wood. You get a sense of grandeur when you climb the narrow steps to the top. The air is heavy with incense, the roofs and statues are decorated with streamers and coloured powders.

A hundred photos later, I am guided to Kathmandu tower. Pay a small fee and you can climb up the interior of the tall white structure and view Kathmandu for miles around to the mountains. You can also see many other various temples and different buildings — modern and ancient — in the view. Afterwards we decided to return for lunch and hired a rig saw to take us to the FHC office. I was introduced to Tibetan Cuisine for dinner. The Noodle soup is highly recommended!

On the 23rd we took a taxi to the Patan Place. The Ancient building shows signs of wear and tear since its construction in the 15th century, with Earthquakes and various wars taking their toll. Thankfully the structure has been through a restoration process that allows it to be used as a museum that houses many Nepalese Deities through the ages, as well as many artifacts from the Kingdom in Patan, including the palace. The Museum is easy to navigate, but remember to watch out for low doors as you ascend the levels of the palace. If you get worn out there are many seats by the window in which you can view the square outside. Take your time to enjoy the museum. The staff are very friendly and willing to offer their services as a guide for a fee.

The Palace is still being restored through the efforts of World Heritage partners and the local people. So when you return, there is much more to see.

I took time out today to take a break from the new environment. The Culture change can be overwhelming. Som Tamang and this brothers are really reliable and approachable people, they took us to various restaurants and shops to prepare you for the trip or by items to take home with you.

Declan

[Declan was part of Take on Nepal’s June/July 2014 Tour]

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