I have been fortunate to meet a fantastic group of people here in Kathmandu. Regular dinners, brunches, performances and adventures have kept my social life a-buzz. One particular adventure was notable as it was my first trip outside of Kathmandu thus far. After enjoying our panini sandwiches at Yellow House, a favorite brunch spot due to it’s central location (but not so much for the service), we discussed plans for that afternoon. I had little to contribute and sat quietly until the plan was decided and I could say “Yep, I’m in for that”, regardless of what it was. The decision was made that we would take a walk to Kirtipur.
The small village of Kirtipur sits on the south-western corner of Kathmandu, perched on a hill overlooking the far flung capital city. Seven of us set out with limited knowledge of what to expect, but confident that we would have a great day. Our trek started out like any other walk through Kathmandu. Through the din of constant horns honking and dogs barking, we carefully navigated down streets, alleyways and dirt paths to reach the Bagmati River. Crossing the river and turning south, we left the city limits. After another ten minutes of walking, the shops and concrete structures began to thin until we were finally greeted by an open, green landscape.
Our walk continued past fields of various Nepalese crops and straggling cows. Odd looking tractors passed by, looking more like lawn mowers attached to wagons. As we approached the town we noticed something unexpected: a ferris wheel. It was a surreal sight, with the hillside town in the background and rustic festival rides we weren’t sure were functional.
We reached the town of Kurtipur and began to scale the hill, as talks of a “Viewpoint Restaurant” swirled. Although many shops and city features were identical to Kathmandu, it was apparent that the lifestyle was more relaxed. The streets looked wider, with people in much less off a hurry. We stopped at a temple that offered an amazing view of the entire Kathmandu valley. Continuing on past friendly people, odd looking birds and a curious amount of street dogs, we climbed to our final destination. The Viewpoint Restaurant did not disappoint.
I was in heaven in this beautiful temple atop a hill with 360 degree views, eating hot momo’s, sipping cold beverages and enjoying the great company. Our trek could not have ended more perfectly. We took our fill of food, drink, scenery and stories as the sun set in the distance. My walk to Kirtipur will never be forgotten.