An unexpected trip
Two weeks have passed. I remember so vividly how they started. One day before we were all enthusiasts because we have been planning to go on a trip outside of Kathmandu the next day.
The next morning we gathered at the office as always and after a short while we went to catch a bus. “It’s going to be a long drive to an incredible site outside the city” I was thinking. After more then one hour drive in a traffic that seemed to move only with the great help of whistles and horns we got down in the outskirts of the city. “We’re here” I seem to hear, not believing my ears. I was thinking of course that this is just the place from where we have to catch the bus to go further outside the city, to the actual incredible place – as we had planned. We started to walk and our guides gave me the impression that indeed we have arrived.
The place i had in my imagination and the situation were not matching at all but instead of a tension appearing, the two worlds embraced each other and blended into a dreamlike space where I was now walking. From that moment on I even forgot where we had originally planned to go.
“We are at the temple park, the park of monkeys”. These were the words that suddenly gave sense to this dream. Temple, park, monkeys – I was adoring these words. There are many temples allover the city of Kathmandu but when our guides tell us that we’re going to a temple I know it’s special. “Parks” is one of my favourite words in Kathmandu. I always imagine a park as green, filled with grass, flowers and trees. In Kathmandu there is only a tiny such treasure where you have to pay entrance fee. So “this could be my next great discovery in this city”, I was thinking. Not the least this place was now “the palace of monkeys”, in my head. I was so satisfied with this image that I just plunged into the story.
Step by step we were accompanied by the buddhist prayer wheels that surround the park’s walls. Then Padmasambhava’s 4 meter high statue was there to tell us who’s house we were about to enter. And in the trees and on the walls above our heads were the most awaited by everyone – the monkeys.
As I have no wish to tell what marvels await the visitor of this place named “Swayambhunath” I am taking a shortcut in the story that gets us at the exit of the park. From here on our guides took us to a walk through a neighborhood where everything old is still untouched by technology or tourists. It was the most pleasant walk I had in this city. We reached the city center after one hour or so – the same time that the bus needed to take us there.