Pokhara, a home to beautiful Himalayas and serene lakes, always mesmerizes everyone with its beauty. I personally, have travelled to this amazing city for more than 8 times and I feel that I have a love affair with Pokhara. The city life in Kathmandu is great but sometimes the bustling crowd and traffic horns are a bit too much. Pokhara is my escape as it is in touch with nature plus it has the sophistication of a city.
The first thing I do after I check into a hotel is rush towards ‘Fewa Lake’. I just love boating there with the views of the Himalayas so bare before my eyes. It is the most relaxing feeling after a long ride to Pokhara and it just feels good to be alive. When you’re done with boating, you will love the vibrant ‘Lakeside’. It is the main tourist hub with many restaurants and hotels. It comes to life in the evening with live music in most of the restaurants, friendly people, gorgeous dusk scenery and many more.
The restaurants at the Lakeside serve a variety of eastern and western food but if you really want an authentic experience, try the traditional cuisine – ‘Dal Bhat’ (Rice and Lentil) also called ‘Thakali Thali’. It’s what the Nepalese eat daily, 2 times a day but in a more simple form. Rice and Lentil is the staple food in Nepal, with a variety of vegetables and/or meat. I can write a whole blog about this dish but for now I can only suggest you try it. It is also common in Nepal to eat with your hands. Believe me when I tell you, there’s a difference in taste when you eat it by hand rather than a spoon or a fork.
Lake side and traditional Thakali Thali
When in Pokhara, you might be overwhelmed by the number of activities that you can opt for. For me personally, this time I really wanted to try Paragliding. So the next day I got up early, really geared up for it. Sipping on a strong black coffee with the stunning view of ‘Machhapuchhre’ (Fishtail Mountain) – ah! Pokhara, I do love you.
Paragliding starts from Sarangkot, which is at an altitude of about 1592 m. You can choose to drive to the top or go for a short hike. I didn’t want to walk this time so I drove. It would have been good to get some warm up and then relax floating in the sky but I was too excited. When I reached there the paragliding staffs were already setting things up. I got my briefing on the safety measures and it was time to fly.
When they started gearing me up I almost backed out. The height made me really nervous but it has been one of my dreams to do this and somehow I had to do it. I really tried to hold my fear but my pilot could smell it from far and was smiling the whole time.
Finally it was time to take off. With butterflies in my stomach, I really closed my eyes and I could literally feel my heart pounding. It was time for us to run and take-off the hill. I was so scared at the time of take-off that I didn’t even realize we had taken off.
My pilot was very nice and he urged me to slowly open my eyes. I intuitively let out a very loud and elated scream. I was actually FLYING!!! I wish I could put down in words how I felt, it was SO AMAZING!!! I don’t think I stopped smiling at any time during the flight. I was so high above the ground, and everything below seemed so small. I was free to fly as a bird and now I know why they call it the “bird’s eye view”. I was actually FLYING!!! And it was AMAZING!!!
The excitement just doubled with the magnificent views of the Machhapuchhre (Fish Tail Mountain) and the Annapurna Range. I was there, up in the sky with a bird’s eye view of ‘Fewa Lake’ and my lovely Pokhara. I loved every bit of being in the sky it was a true heavenly experience. Truly an experience of ABSOLUTE FREEDOM!!! I was still so excited when we landed, that going up and flying again was the first thing that popped in my head.
However, I had to get back to my hotel. I was rewinding and playing my experience back and forth in my head as if it was a video player. I was smiling constantly staring at the ceiling for an hour or so. Everything around me seemed so much more beautiful.
Later, I went out for the night with my friends and celebrated my day with cocktails and live music. We partied the whole night and it was the perfect end to my vacation.
The next day, it was time to go home. I wish I could have stayed longer and visited my favorite fish eating spot Pame but I had no time. Pokhara is so amazing and rejuvenating as always. So, till we meet again – So long Pokhara!!!
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