The hotel, the Hyatt Kathmandu is huge and absolutely beautiful. Glasses of cold rose water and orange juice were served by a delightful young man on our arrival and the cold towels to sooth the brow were greatly appreciated.
I think we all slept soundly in the sanctuary of our large airy rooms. Shut the door and you are back to being your own self. ‘I am Pam Holland.’ I have always valued that wonderful sense of being.
I woke at 4.30 next morning and attempted to work on the blog. I’d taken few photos so I didn’t have to do anything in the photography department. However, the Internet is rather slow and it’s a little frustrating. But here I am, in a very different world and I must embrace it with patience and compliance.
One of the first things I like to do when I arrive in a foreign place is to walk the surrounding area to accept the ideas of the very place I’ve been transported to. So it was with a little excitement that some of our ladies joined me at 7.oo am and we walked for an hour down busy morning streets taking everything in with a degree of wonder.
The air was crisp and a heavy cloud of dew settled over all who ventured out. The sun produced an orange glow to everything and it can be the most difficult time to photograph and also the most exciting because of the interesting light. We met, for the first time as a group on that walk, sharing conversation with each other, and also some of he locals who’s smile would welcome you with friendliness.
Look down, look down, the pavements are not built for the unwary. You could fall down a deep hole or indeed walk in doggy Doo if you weren’t careful. The hour passed quickly and we had our bearings and began to take ownership of the event.
It was on the walk that we were made aware of the different ethnic groups here in Kathmandu. There are over 40 different races and tribes in this small country of 26 million people and it was interesting to see the costumes of many.
Certain Ethnic groups in Nepal are categorised according to their occupation, They are Kamis, (smiths) Daimais (Taylor’s) Dhibis ( washerman) Sarkis (cobblers) Gaines (Porfessional singers)and Khumbharas (porters) and the man religion is Hinduism and the major language is Nepali.
But this was just the beginning of the day. The great Boudha Stupa was our first stop, Guided by the delightful Susan she attempted to heard our excited group of ladies around this amazing Buddhist Temple.
It suffered terrible damage in the earthquakes of last April. For that reason, there was restricted access, but we were unaware of what it used to be, so we were thrilled with what we saw.
Engulfed in huge swathes of prayer flags that moved in the breeze, the stupa stands as a reminder of the reverence of the religion of this country.
Traditionally, prayer flags come in sets of five: one in each of five colors. The five colors are arranged from left to right in a specific order: blue, white, red, green, and yellow. The five colors represent the five elements and the Five Pure Lights. Different elements are associated with different colors for specific traditions. Blue symbolizes the sky and space, white symbolizes the air and wind, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth. According to Traditional Tibetan medicine, health and harmony are produced through the balance of the five elements.
The sun shone, the sounds of bells, crows and music filled the air and the temple appeared to be a hub for the devotees. It was fascinating to just be there. As you can see the visions were most splendid.