The main photo opposite is of the Rani Pokhari - a tank built in 1667 by King Pratap Malla to console his Wife after their Son was trampled & killed by an Elephant. It subsequently became a popular suicide spot, so much so that it is now fenced off and only opened one day per year.
We went on what turned out to be a 6 hour walking tour to, in & around the area known as Thamel - this is tourist / back-packer / party central.
Since we were here last quite a few music &/or dance Clubs have opened and they rage on into the night, hence our decision to live somewhere else while we are here.
Why 2068 you ask?
Nepal does not use the Gregorian Calendar we are used to - they run a Lunar Calendar that is 57 years ahead of the Christian one. The first day of their year starts on the 14th of April.
Main points today:-
1. Waited for 45 minutes in 31 degree heat to pay 500 rupees each to gain entry to Narayanhiti Palace (the 41 year old 'new' Royal Palace) only to find out that no bags or cameras were allowed inside.
2. Spent hours (literally) walking around trying to find some familiar spots in Thamel. We were successful in the end though, visiting our old favourite Hotel, The Garuda.
3. Hired a bicycle Rickshaw to take us to the Garden of Dreams but felt so guilty making the man drag us around I ended up walking / running beside the thing (with Des + backpacks inside) for half the trip. The Driver was around 5' 2" tall & would have weighed no more than 50kg dripping wet - which he was because it started raining during the journey. The monsoon is lasting longer than usual this year. Normally it's over by the 23rd of September each year.
4. Saw (and heard) a couple of Royal Enfields today.
5. Visited Pilgrims Book Store and bought a copy of "The Ascent Of Rum Doodle" by W E Bowman, a book I have been half-heartedly looking for over the last 25 years. This is a new edition with a forward by Bill Bryson.
6. We enjoyed a brief respite from the general Thamel madness in the Garden of Dreams - see the Photo's area.
7. Had a nice lunch in the Om Nepal Garden Restaurant. Many Restaurants have interesting names here, e.g. 'The Hungry Eye', 'Don't Cross Me By', 'Yak Restaurant', 'Or2k" and my favourite, 'The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe' - not original I know but a great name nonetheless.