We reached Krishna House, our B&B in Bhaktapur, at about 2pm, so by the time we finally went out to explore the ancient city it was about to get dark; sunset was around 5.30pm. And since it was exactly Deepavali or Puja Laxmi, our experience walking around Bhaktapur Durbar Square that night was truly sublime...
Children, girls and boys in traditional costumes, would carry a tray of offerings and go around from shop to shop, singing and dancing, and in return the shop owners would give them money as tokens. The children actually asked us for tokens too, but the shop owners told them that we're visitors and that they (shop owners) will gladly give them their tokens. Sweet huh? Everyone was practically dancing, singing and chanting prayers, and with all those kolums and oil lamps lining the streets, everything looked so mythically beautiful. The celebration is different from what I have experienced here in Malaysia.
Anyway, I've asked my goons to write in their own words their experience in Nepal. So here is Damascus's account of things ~ this is word for word from Damascus, mommy just made some punctuation corrections and time adjustment :)...
We got in Bhaktapur City, and then we wandered around and then when it was like 6.30pm we were so tired and hungry. We found a cafe named Himalayan Java Coffee where the three of us ordered this one thing called Oreo Cookie Shake and our mom and dad ordered coffee. My little brother ordered the vanilla muffin. Minutes later we went back to Krishna House and that's it for today!
Well, he forgot to mention that he did try to extinguish some of the oil lamps we passed, so geram to touch the oil lamps, in the classic Damascus way!
So, that night was the first time we experienced sleeping in cold weather without internal heating. Weeeeeeee! Yes, there was hot water in the shower but it took so long to come out, so we figured, eh, we didn't do anything strenuous and we're not so dirty, so we just wash our faces, hands and feet and that should do it lah. Oh, but I must mention one vital thing here, that the first thing Ajaya, the owner/manager of Krishna House, advised us was that we should use the bottled water they've provided in our rooms for brushing teeth and gargling. This is coz he doesn't guarantee that the water in Bhaktapur would suit us, as he, his wife and his father also use bottled water to brush their teeth! So, we kept to that and Alhamdulillah, everything went on well.
The next day we spent the whole day in Bhaktapur Durbar Square, where I found my favourite shopping alley, and where I bought my first memento from Nepal :)
As iterated by Esfahan...
Woke up at about 6am. Went outside and I could see my breath! Cool! We blew the whole day off in Bhaktapur City (Durbar Square). I saw a goat riding a motorcycle! And also a HUGE flash mob! They were all singing and dancing, while we climbed to safety atop a stupa (pix in previous post, the 5 storeyed Nyatapola Temple that was built by King Bhupatindra Malla in 1702AD.) After that we went to Pottery Square (pix in previous post). We saw lots of pots. After all of that we finally returned to Krishna House with some food. We ate and then went to bed. Another cold night.
The following morning we had a very early breakfast and then headed for the airport in Uncle Hari's van to catch our 9am flight to Pokhara.
We had a lovely time at Krishna House. Ajaya and his family were very warm and welcoming, and we felt completely at home. They were very polite and soft spoken, and they shared with us the ways and norms of a typical Nepali family, specifically in Bhaktapur. Their 2 teenage children attend private school, as do most children of families of certain means. The Krishna House may not look lavish on or from the outside, but inside is a lot of "richness". Ajaya's father had his education in Australia, so he is able to transfer much knowledge and wisdom unto Ajaya and his family. Here are some pictures at Krishna House...
Days 3 - 8 will be in Pokhara, so stay tuned for that! :)
To be continued... :)