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Published: March 2nd 2018
Woolly says – I’d caught Jo red handed trying to plan the days activities, she tried that big smile that charms so many, but it never works with me….. well not often. She ordered French toast for breakfast and before I could lick the sugar from around my mouth, tusks and ears it appeared we were off to see not one, not two but three durbars, was the women mad!
I’m getting close having the mammoth around! The first and farthest Durbar Square didn’t seem to have a name was a no no, having ascertained with the taxi driver that it would take at least an hour and a half and cost several mammoth paws, we set off to find Durbar number two. Woolly says – I hadn’t had chance to look into the Singha Durbar and as we left the flag bearing streets of Thamel and joined the busy part of the city I frantically looked it up in my Mammoth A – Z Guide to the World. Having checked under N for Nepal and K for Kathmandu I hefted the S volume onto my lap and found it. It was
built as a small private residence, but grew bigger during the construction, once completed in 1929 it became the Prime Minister’s residence. What it failed to mention was that you could go in but only if you had business with a government office, hmmmmm Jo obviously had the answer to this dilemma.
It was a fact that had failed to register with me and having been dropped off a good mile away from the entrance it was a tiring mistake. Woolly says – She really needs to leave the planning to me! A passing taxi picked us up and having considered this the only way to reinforce the need for Jo not to try planning on her own, I told the driver to head to Kathmandu Durbar Square. It was the third and final Durbar and since we had already spent most of yesterday there being plastered with colours, she would soon give up on any future ideas she might have.
Hopefully you might eat his words on this one, I wanted to see a bit more than the brief glimpses we had managed previously and as
we walked into the main area I was glad that we had returned. Woolly says – The place was nearly empty compared to yesterday and I’m sure I hadn’t noticed the brass market that seemed to be trading before, but then if they had been sat on the floor yesterday they would probably be in hospital today having been trampled underfoot. The damage from the earthquake was heart wrenching, the Nepalese have done wonders but there was just so much damage. Some areas surrounded by fences and unrecognisable as anything, buildings that were still standing were held up by scaffolding many had huge gaping cracks in the walls. One temple that was looking bright amongst the fallen bricks had the most amazing windows carved from wood, inside led us to a shrine area and the living quarters of the newest reincarnation of one the Hindu Gods. The black woodwork was incredible and showed how all the buildings will look again. Having exhausted Durbar square I wondered what the wise one had in mind next.
We sat in the same café as before watching life go through the square and I put forward
the thought of Freak Street. Freak Street was a centre for backpackers during the Hippie trail from the early 1960s to late 1970s. During that time the main attraction drawing tourists to Freak Street was the government-run hashish shops, now days it’s a tourist haven. It might be a bit different! Woolly says – Jo checked with four different people that we were in the right place, sadly it appeared that we were. Well, they say time changes everything and in this case it wasn’t for the better. A few mask shops which although beautifully crafted wouldn’t be a huge draw as a centre of the tourist trade, it looked like any other shopping street in Nepal. That brings to mind the contemplation that I have been having over the difference in how shopping is done here to many places in India. Little shack stalls are no more, all shops are in an actual brick buildings, there might be no real road, but it was rubbish free. There were a huge range of shops in each road rather than all the chemists in one area and all the fruit and veg in another, all
selling next to each other. It was an entirely new experience and one I was looking forward to continuing tomorrow.
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