Crossing borders

One last breakfast at the Castle Resort, a quick goodbye to the dogs and our host Sofia and we were off to the airport. IMG_1440IMG_1420IMG_1418With only an hour delay we made the short flight to Kathmandu were nobody waited for us.IMG_1423 IMG_1424 IMG_1430We had ordered a driver from our hotel which was still operating, but the driver didn’t wait that long. Understandable in all this commotion at the airport. We got ourselves a taxi and drove to the hotel. What a difference this week made. Lots of people have fled the city after the quake and there was little traffic. On the other hand we also didn’t see a lot of destruction. Just a lot of tents all over the golf course and any other parks.IMG_1437 IMG_1442Upon our arrival at the Home Annex Hotel we were greeted with a cup of tea and the strongest wifi we had experienced so far on this trip.

I used my time to update the blog and then we made our way outside to find something to eat. IMG_1439 IMG_1461

We walked around for a bit and found some examples that also our district Thamel was hit by the earthquake but all the damage looked small compared to the pictures on TV. IMG_1445

We finally went to a restaurant just around the corner from our hotel. Fren’s Kitchen had a lovely garden and we and another tourist couple were the only guests. I tried a couple of new things, something fried with a spicy sauce and an Indian butter cheese dish. Maybe a bit on the heavy side but good nonetheless.IMG_1462 IMG_1456Sylvia went for her usual vegetable soup but had vegetable Dal Bhat instead of the momos.IMG_1454 IMG_1457

We went back to the hotel after the meal and had a good night’s sleep. After another interesting breakfast IMG_1486


the driver from the day before was bringing us to the international airport. The streets were again empty even more so than yesterday. IMG_1468 IMG_1469

We spent at least three hours at the airport waiting for our flight. Not that it was delayed but of course we wanted to be on time and the the drive was way shorter than expected. Nevertheless in the end we boarded our plane and after a disgusting meal we arrived in Lhasa.IMG_1824There we had to show our passports and visa twice andSylvia had to say goodbye to her Ghorka knives at the customs (no weapons allowed into China). Not the warmest welcome in this high situated city. At least our guide looked sympathetic to our plight.IMG_1502 IMG_1489 Already the air was a lot cooler and the sky immensely blue. The mountains around us looked brown and sandy with a white dusting of snow on top.  IMG_1490 IMG_1492 IMG_1495

The drive to the city took upon an hour on a very new and scenic road. Before checking into our hotel we had to make a stop at the travel agency to pay for our flight to Lhasa. There we were offered tea and advised to drink a lot due to the height and the very dry air. Also we shouldn’t shower this first evening. The reason behind it we didn’t really understand but found it funny nonetheless. IMG_1499


And then it was time to check into the Tibet Hotel which also offered hourly rates.IMG_1500 IMG_1503We managed to get the wifi password (sounds so simple now but took about 30 minutes including a visit from house keeping) and then set out to get cash and find a place to eat. This was all done in no time and we decided to splurge again and went for dinner at a hot pot place. With no language skills but with the help of a little dictionary we picked out the produce from the buffet that we wanted to throw in the soups. The choice was between vegetable soup with sausage and spicy oil. IMG_1505

Sylvia used only the oil and later paid a high price for it. Not only woke we both up during the night with a splitting headache but she was sick as well. Not such a promising start to our Tibet adventure. Yours, Pollybert

Hot Pot at Mama Lui&Sons

Going out for dinner with the girls is always great fun. Especially when we try new restaurants and I get to taste lots of new dishes. So last Tuesday we met at Mama Lui&Sons. We had some difficulties reserving a table; one week in advance our preferred time at 7pm was not possible. We could either have a time slot at 6pm or 8:30pm. We took the 6 o’clock one.

Upon arriving at the restaurant it was empty but filled up quickly. No wonder they wanted us to order fast. Apparently they can book a table at least twice per evening. The restaurant looks rather dark but there is more than enough light above each table to read the menu (an issue that gets more and more important over time) and to see what you eat.IMG_9683IMG_9664

In the end none of us ordered Hot Pot even though it’s the restaurant’s specialty. I took a picture from a Hot Pot on the neighboring table so that you get an impression how it looks like.IMG_9676Looks quite good, don’t you think? I am just not sure about the price for what is in the end a large bowl of soup.

We stayed with the starters and the “dish of the day” (which are actually four and more weekly/monthly changing dishes). The service is efficient and friendly and has a certain German touch (“Schorle” anyone?). The starters were delicious. Everything we ordered tasted great, I really loved my mixed fried Dim Sum basket, the green peppers in black bean sauce and the Xia-Bing flatbread I could try from Evi.IMG_9659IMG_9670IMG_9665IMG_9671IMG_9673IMG_9675

Of course we started eating before I took the pictures so the fried Dim Sum were gone before I got my phone out (thanks to Sylvia there are at least some). Everything tasted fresh and hot, the dipping sauce was delicious and a free refill for it was available. The only let-down was the dish of the day. The “Ginger Duck” tasted boring and was actually the only dish not freshly made. The duck looked as if it had gotten stir-fried in the morning (dazzling rays in all colors are never a good sign on your meat), so Evi was happy that there was actually not a lot of ginger-duck in the stir-fry.IMG_9682

Overall the food was good though and we had a great time. If anyone of you tries the Hot Pot, let me know. I am kind of curious if it’s worth it.
Yours, Pollybert