I have arrived here on october first, yet my work only starts on october 22nd. Meanwhile, i have time to visit this beautiful country.
When I arrived, there was a celebration going on. It was the celebration of Kumari, the living Goddess. The streets of Kathmandu were unbelievably crowded, everyone was enjoying the colourful festival.
Afterwards i visited Swayambhunath Stupa, just on northwest border of Kathmandu. Needless to say how beautiful this place is. It is said that, a long time ago, Kathmandu was a very large lake, with one lotus flower on it. A queen saw this lake and wanted to build a city on this very place. All the water was evacuated and a Stupa emerged at the spot were the lotus flower used to be. Swayambhunath means « the self-revealing God ».
After that I visited Patan and Bhaktapur, two beautiful cities with many temples and stupas.
The next week i took a big adventure trip to the south of Nepal, region called « Terai ». The climate there is rather tropical, so it is best to go there around october til january, afterwards it becomes just too hot to bear (at least for me). This region is well known for it is the birthplace of Lord Buddha. He was born around 400 B.C. in a place called Lumbini. I will not tell you the rest of the story, because i’m not a expert on Buddhism, but it is a very interessting religion, belief, philosophy of whatever you may call it. I visited the Maya Devi Temple (actual birth place of the Buddha) and also saw a lot of other buddhist temples. Lumbini is an important destination for pilgrims, and most buddhist countries have build temple there. Which means that when you take a walk around, you will come across a lot of different temples, with various and beautiful architectures. Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Mongolia, China, India, Viet Nam, Nepal, Buthan, Korea and a lot of other countries are represented.
After a magnificent day in Lumbini, a continued my trip to Sauraha, Chitwan. The Chitwan National Park is an attractive destination for tourists : It offers many activities such as elephant rides, walks in the jungle, canoe trip on the river. To be completely honest, the last one scared the hell out of me ! The canoe was almost at the same level as the water, and sometimes you had to balance it to avoid falling in the water. So far, it does not seem so terrible. The thing is that the river is filled with crocodiles. We saw 5 of them. I love how my guide said to me : « There are two types of crocodiles. The one is not dangerous at all, while the other is very agressive and dangerous for humans. Now the one you see, right there, a few meters away from you, for example, is a very dangerous one ».