I have arrived in Kathmandu! On first impressions it's very dusty, poluted and busy, but after a day of exploring I have really started to enjoy the city. Most of the locals i've met are friendly and helpful and it generally feels quite safe to go wondering around, even in the non-touristic parts people generally leave you alone unless you need help.
Today I got familiar with the district of Thamel. It's the place where all the tourists stay, so it's mostly full of shops, resturants and trekking agencies. The roads are narrow and it's full of crazy drivers. Luckily, it's too busy for them to run anyone over at speed, but you do have to watch that no one goes over your foot on a motorbike.
In the afternoon I took a taxi to 'Boudha Nath'. To quote Lonely Plant (LP) 'It's the religious centre for Nepals considerable polulation of Tibetan exiles' so it's basically a place of worship for Buddhists and has one of the worlds largest Stupas.
The rectangular holes on the outer wall are full of prayer wheels, which people spin as they walk around the outside.
The golden top is draped with loads of multi colour flags and it also has an interesting pair of eyes painted on.
From the Buddhist Stupa of Boudha I walked for an hour to find 'Pashupatinath Temple' which ranks as Nepal's most important Hindu site and attracts pious pilgrims and dreadlocked sadhus (holy men) from all over the subcontinent. On the way, I got a fantastic view of the Himalayas behind Kathmandu.
The temple was fascinating, as it was starting to get dark and people were lighting fires next to the river to cremate the dead. There were also a lot of monkeys here and some were quite large and scary, although I was told that as long as you don't have food they won't attack you. It is not allowed to take photos here, but I took a few sneaky snaps in the dark.