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Day 4 – Monday June 22 – Durbar Square and Thamel

June 24, 2009

Well, these late mornings are great, but I may need to take better advantage of my time here. By midday we finally got out of the hotel and went out to Durbar Square in Kathmandu. Durbar Square is apparently a generic name referring to the square opposite the old royal palace. There are three Durbar Squares, one in Kathmandu, another in Patan, and a final one in Bhaktapur. Today was just the KTM one.

As with any tourist location in Nepal, a westerner is instantly swarmed with people selling their wares (usually a bunch of crap) or their skills as a tour guide. Read up beforehand and just soak up the wonderful space like I did. Some of the tourguides are very persistent, and may end up insulting you to try to get you to hire them. I am not sure if that works with others, but it just turned me off.

Unfortunately, the skies were not good for me for this entire trip so far: cloudy, not a hint of blue skies, and very bright. So my pictures aren’t quite as good as I could imagine. But I am still pretty happy with it all.

After a few hours in the square, we went over to a little rooftop restaurant. This one’s claim to fame was that it was a rotating restaurant, kind of like what you find at the top of the Seattle Space Needle. Except the motor in this one was broken. Add to that some horrible momos, and a TV with terrible reception at an ear-shredding volume, and the end result wasn’t what we were hoping for. At least they had a good view over the square and of the surrounding rooftops.

Nearby the square on the New Road (although I see it listed in Google as Sukra Path) is a little market my sister loves to visit for glass beads. We sat for a while and found a few items we couldn’t live without. Well, I think I would have had more success at living without them than Sarah would. We finished up our shopping and headed back to the hotel for a short rest.

Dinner tonight was at one of Sarah’s favorite spots: Kilroy’s. I guess the quality of the food is subjective. It helps if you had been in KTM for a while. At that point, any European food is starting to look and taste really wonderful. In fact I seem to remember Kilroy’s being incredible last time around. This time, it was OK.

Perhaps one of the more entertaining aspects of the night was watching the movements of the older gentleman sitting next to us. After his dessert, he walked downstairs and talked with one of the workers. And then out of nowhere he started screaming about the noise created by some band that was playing nearby. It seemed very out of place and, although my description was very quick, you’ll have to believe me when I tell you that he came across as a real ass. After our dinner was finished, we wandered through the restaurant looking at the photos on the wall. We then saw our screamer in some of the pictures: co-owner of Kilroys. Thats too bad, perhaps it was just a bad night for him.

Well, thats another day over here in “Mystical Kathmandu”…

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