We started off and ended in Kathmandu.
Well, strictly speaking, we arrived late in the afternoon in Patan and had an early-morning Everest mountain flight, but that was part of the guided tour we had of Kathmandu city proper, where we visited the Hanuman Dhoka Durbar Square…
…the Swayambhunath, also known as the Monkey Temple because of the many monkeys found in the area…
…the Boudhanath Stupa, which started with a bright, high noontime sun and ended with ominous clouds…
…capping the day with the Pashupatinath Temple, when it started to rain.
I remember the throng, locals and tourists alike. It seemed like we always needed to be somewhere else–moving forward, going up, moving down, don’t stop.
I remember thinking, wondering if I should even be taking pictures: pictures of people in prayer, murmuring words only they could hear, touching with their fingertips, eyes closed.
So I didn’t.
Before we left Nepal, we also visited Thamel, keeper of all kinds of tourist knickknacks.
Just nearby was the Garden of Dreams–a small garden nice for an afternoon’s relaxation. It was a welcome break from the city hustle and bustle, even if it’s fairly small and filled with couples on dates and teenagers taking selfies.
Tiny, but quiet and restful.
Travel is the discovery of truth; an affirmation of the promise that human kind is far more beautiful than it is flawed.
With each trip comes a new optimism that where there is despair and hardship, there are ideas and people just waiting to be energized, to be empowered, to make a difference for good.