Friday, 19 October 2012

The Garden of Dreams

It was somewhere I had walked past countless times but never gone in. On Sunday morning, after a late night in Thamel, I decided to visit the Garden of Dreams to relax and unwind. As soon as I stepped through the gate into the courtyard, I felt sorry I had walked past so many times. It was stunning, an oasis in the midst of the chaos of Thamel. Butterflies, fountains, ponds, gorgeous architecture; it was a feast for the eyes. After so much dust, dirt and detritus around Kathmandu, here was a real gem. Immediately, I started snapping photos to capture the beauty, though I knew this would definitely not be my last visit here.

After walking around, I aimed for the lawns where mats had been laid out for people to recline in the sunshine or shade. It was a divine find, so relaxed and calm. My only issue was that I had not brought my headphones to listen to music and drown out the ever-present background noise of cars and bikes on the busy streets. This didnt affect the dreamy quality of the place though. I saw a lot of people come through; lone travellers, couples, westerners and Nepalis alike. It was exactly what I needed.

As usual, my stomach decided that it wanted to move on and get something to eat, so I made my way to the Kaiser café, which is in part of the garden and overlooks the grounds. I was seated inside upstairs and was grateful for the cool area out of the midday sun. I ordered my usual mango juice (an absolute favourite for me here in Nepal) and Steak A La King. Although the prices are quite steep, the food is excellent, both beautifully presented and tasty. I would recommend that you don't go less than ''medium' on the steak though, as mine was a bit too rare. I was also given more food than necessary, with complimentary breads while I waited. I would recommend you go when you're really hungry!

After the steak, it was hard to resist the delicious-looking chocolate cake which was on display. This was the first taste of chocolate that I'd had since *gasp* I left the UK! It was like manna from heaven, beautiful. With all eaten, and my stomach that little bit too full, I went back to the lawns and found a vacant mat to lie on for an hour or so in the sunshine. I may have even dozed off at one point. It really was such a relaxed place, I felt so safe and comfortable. I know now that when I visit Thamel and need somewhere to chill out for a few hours, this is the place to go!

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