Sunday, March 6, 2011

41 Hours to Kathmandu

Before diving into my first day in Nepal, which included a little tending at the Garden of Dreams, I wanted to pay tribute to my odyssey to Asia, seeing that I spent more than one day of my life on it.

Despite the fact that I was arriving in Frankfurt mere hours after a tragic airport shooting there, my transfer in Deutschland was uneventful. From Germany, I was on to an overnight stay in Bahrain. To be honest, I had to do some research on Bahrain in January when I initially booked my flight and discovered I would be flying through, as I knew very little about this small island nation in the Persian Gulf. Turns out my research was unnecessary given that weeks later the world and I would be watching the country intently and become intimately familiar with Pearl Square and the goings-on there (thank you, Nick Kristof). When my travel agent assured me that my stay in Bahrain should be safe and without incident, I was eager to see this place for myself, if for a very short stint.

Unfortunately, most of my time in the country was spent in my hotel where I stole a solid night of sleep despite the throbbing nightclub below my floorboards.

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My hotel (and, evidently, the epicenter of Bahraini nightlife)

In the morning I went out in search of Bahrain. On foot my scope was limited, but it appeared that Bahrain was bustling with new construction.

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Given the early hour, many shops were closed.

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The ubiquitous American fast food joints, however, were ready and waiting for me, open 24 hours.

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Yet, with their convenient McDelivery service, I needn't have left my hotel at all.

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The modern skyline flirted with me, but I did not get a full view until I visited the hotel pool.

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My short time in Bahrain went off without a hitch, and I was soon off on my final leg to Kathmandu.

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Almost 41 hours after departing Chicago, I had finished my travels, but the journey is just beginning.

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