KATHMANDU, Nepal — The capital of Nepal sits in a valley roughly 4,600 feet above sea level, not quite enough to make visitors feel short of breath, as I had suspected.
My first foray into the city took me through streets where I saw mostly locals going about their business. Although the Lonely Planet guide described Kathmandu as “a pupil-dilating experience, a riot of sights, sounds and smells that can quickly lead to sensory overload,” it was serene and orderly compared to the megacity that is Kolkata.
Bicycle rickshaws rattled over street pavestones, vendors sold their goods from carts and bicycles, and pedestrians rushed along winding streets in their version of a morning rush hour.
Near my hotel, I noted a steakhouse — something completely missing in the Indian cities I’d visited — and I started to make a mental note of my dinner options.