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Bhaktapur

Or the most beautiful city in the whole of Nepal

sunny 20 °C

At the week end we went to Bhaktapur a beautiful town 15 km from Khatmandu… the city is absolutely gorgeous, with paved streets, beautifully carved windows and doors… some awesome temples and houses… There is a lot of crafts shops especially wood carving, paper factory, metal carving and pottery… The place is heaving with craft shops, workshops and all is so colourful and vibrant it is really great…
We arrived at about 11 in the morning so we went straight to the main square … Durbar Square.. this is just beautiful .. temples everywhere, paved floor, golden carving, wood carving … an astonishing sight… The square was destroyed by an earthquake and the German have funded the reconstruction and I can see why… This place is magical and is now a protected site… You pay an entry fee to get into the city as it is clean and peaceful…
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We dropped our bags in the hotel and went for a walk around with the kids looking at all little alleyways and just wondering around this amazing city.. we had no camera so it was nice to just wonder around and not be too concerned about the perfect shot…
It was now harvest time so the many squares were busy with people fanning the rice.. It was funny to see some people using an electric fan to do so… The piles of rice were high and it gave the place a buoyant atmosphere with everyone at work….
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The pottery quarter was the most precious as you had all the potters around the square where the rice was being fanned… You also had a firing place where the potteries are placed on the floor in the hay and then fired for 3 days.. All the firing places were busy with dogs having a rest in an obviously very warm bed!
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Hayden wanted to learn to do some photos so we spent some time photographing that lady mending some bags… We then wondered off the tourist track and ended up in someone’s bag patio… Hayden being his chatty self, started talking with the lady and called me and Teo back as the family was one of the potters and the dad decided to do some pottery for us to the delight of the kids!!!! He gave the kids a little pot each where they put the wick and the wax to light the temples…
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As he was working on the turn I spoke with his daughter and chatting discovered that her sister is studying in London and lives in Isleworth.. so I decided to take some family portraits and said I would send them to the sister. It was funny to learn that they speak on skype every day from this very simple house in the back of a little narrow street… They were all very nice and the kids played with the little girl making magic potion with the ashes and broken pots…They invited us for tea but we were keen to get going so we declined their kind offer. They then asked for a photo of some of the neighbours and offered us a beautifully carved flower pot that we will treasure…
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The brother was a keen photographer so I invited him to join us on our photography tour of Bhaktapur…
So we headed off and went to a lot of different squares, next to the river where the cremations take place, and there are 2 cremation places, one for the newar and one for the rest of the people. We also ended up by chance in a paper factory which was a maze of wonders… Many rooms with many craftswomen working, a real museum of craftsmanship.. a little like the paper factory near Hemel.. Just amazing and wonderful to see… We spent 4 hours wandering about and took many pictures, here are some of them.
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Posted by ealonso 03/11/2011 07:16 Archived in Nepal Tagged bhaktapur

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