But everything is filled with life, you can feel it and breathe it and I feel the same fascination I felt 13 years ago. The dust blends with the scent of spices. Small shops, the bustle of sellers and buyers haggling.
The narrow streets, the temples everywhere, stuck in the middle of an urban structure of no apparent logic to provide spiritual shelter in this chaotic paradise. The sky looms behind webs of cables hanging from side to side of the street. We are in 2014 and until today, Kathmandu has blackouts of up to 16 hours a day and never less than 10 hours.
The magnificent Durbar Square is still splendid, it is the historic lung of Kathmandu and where Nepalese go to spend the day. Despite the chaos, one can breath the relaxed spirit of the local people.
Lakeside, the tourist district that sits around Phewa's lake, like Thamel in Kathmandu, seems to have grown 13 times its size over the last 13 years, but the effect seems much more exacerbated because of the smaller size of Pokhara. If Lakeside ever had charm, today certainly doesn't have it anymore and far gone are the years that was idyllic. However, its environment remains the same magnificent scenery of the peaks of the Annapurna mountain range, with three easily visible 8000's from the terraces of all buildings. After two weeks stuck between Kathmandu and Pokhara waiting for the damn India visa, we were finally ready to leave for the Terai.