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 buzzing. One particular adventure is notable as it was my first, and only trip outside of Kathmandu thus far. After enjoying our panini sandwiches at Yellow House, a favorite brunch spot due to it’s central location, yet not so much for the service, we discussed plans for the afternoon. I had little to contribute to the idea pool, 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: we would take a walk to Kirtipur.
The small village of Kirtipur sits on the South-West corner of Kathmandu, nestled up on a hill overlooking the far reaching capital city. 7 of us set out for our day with limited knowledge of what to expect, but confident that we would have a great day. The trek started out like any other walk through Kathmandu. Through constant horn honking and dog barking we carefully navigated down and across streets, alleyways and dirt paths to reach the Bagmati River. Crossing the river and turning South we officially had left Kathmandu city limits. After another 10 minutes of walking the shops and concrete structures began to thin until we were finally greeted by open green landscape.
Our walk continued past fields of various Nepalese crops and straggling cows. Odd looking tractors passed by, appearing more like lawn mowers attached to horse wagons. As we began to approach the town we noticed an unexpected feature, a ferris wheel. It was a surreal site, especially with the hillside town in the background and accompanying rudimentary festival rides. We found ourselves asking “Are these rides functional?” This question was never answered.
We reached the town of Kirtipur and began to scale the city, as talks of a “Lookout Restaurant” transitioned from idea to plan. Although many shops and city features were identical to Kathmandu it was apparent that the lifestyle was more relaxed. The streets seemed wider, with people in much less off a hurry. We stopped at a temple which opened at the back of the property to 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.
With 360 degree views, a beautiful temple capping the peak, hot momo’s to eat, cold beverages to drink and great company, I was in heaven. 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 not be forgotten.