Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 136 - Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu

The next couple of days would be lazy days, as most of the city would remain relatively quiet due to the Dashain festival. I headed to the Garden of Dreams, which was the number 1 recommended activity in Kathmandu based on reviews.

Just outside of Thamel, the Garden of Dreams is a renovated garden area where people come to just relax, sit around the gardens, nap, have a bite to eat, and just enjoy the surroundings, a stark contrast to the noise and grime right outside. It reminded me very much of my visit to the Peace and Wellness Labyrinth Gardens in Los Angeles that I wrote about prior to my trip. Both were quiet and beautiful places to relax and reflect, right in the middle of an urban jungle. They had a photo exhibit that displayed before and after renovation pictures. Much of the garden could have been lost, had the government not done something to prevent it. The architecture of the area was beautiful with elements of symmetry throughout.

Afterwards, I headed around the commercial shopping area of Thamel, since it was the last day many of the shops would be open before a 3-4 holiday break. There were a lot of bootleg shoes, and it was hard to tell the difference between a genuine Nike vs a fake one. Even fake shoes were sold in some pretty legitimate clothing stores, but I guess you could tell by the outrageously cheap prices that they were fake. I ended up purchasing some Puma sneakers from the official Puma store. It's nice because unlike many of the other countries I'd visited, the prices here were cheaper or similar to what I'd find in the U.S.

I headed back to the hostel, but not before finding a book to read, since my Kindle decided to break down...good thing it is still under warranty, although I'd like to get my hands on one of the newer ones that were recently released. I purchased The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I heard many good things about it from friends, and it is a popular book to read while traveling.

On the way back, I saw what appeared to be the beginnings of a goat sacrifice. A group of people, including many children, were gathered around a goat that was tied to a string. They were all loud and excited, anxiously petting the goat on the head. One of the older men dragged the goat towards their village, and everyone followed, helping to push the helpless goat forward. I didn't stay to see if it was sacrificed, but I assume it was.

Late at night, a group of us at the hostel decided to head to Durbar Square to see if we could find some more slaughterings. Everyone kept telling us different times and dates to go see it, so we decided to go tonight. Of course, when we got there, the square was quiet. There was barely any activity, although we did come across a small area that appear to be where a couple goats were sacrificed, with blood spilled over the pavement.  

Garden of Dreams

Animal Sacrifices in Durbar Square

No comments:

Post a Comment