Kashmir to Nepal: Travels with John and CynthiaSee - November 25, 2022
Kashmir was a paradise in the 70s and it’s all still there. The boats are where people lived on the river before all the roads went in, the rivers were the roads. The lakes were a big thing. Lots of things going on and it’s all still there. There are parts of it that are touristy, but there are parts of it that are just backwaters where people are still connecting, collecting lotus stocks in tiny boats, and fishing.
The Kashmiri people are terrific. Really friendly. Not many tourists up there, feels like we saw two foreign tourists in all of Kashmir.
We went up to the lake, which is on the way to the famous ice cave pilgrimage site.
About half a million Hindu devotees visit the cave shrine every year during the pilgrimage for a glimpse of the ice stalagmite which Hindus believe is a Shiva Lingam, the symbol of Lord Shiva. (Al Jazeera)
Cynthia at 12,000 ft in Kashmir beauty
We found the best restaurant in Kashmir. Oh, my God. We went there every day for lunch. If you go there, don’t miss this place.
Our reason for going was to visit the Shaw Brothers. The Shaws are four generations of Pashmina makers and they employ thousands. We know them from Dehli. They make the most incredible textiles, one of a kind.
They cost from $300 to $5,000. They have a double-faced embroidery that took a year. It’s just mind-boggling. All the fleece comes from Tibet and from the Cashmere goats.
There are innovations freaking people out with machine-made things that feel like Pashmina, and taste like Pashmina, but don’t employ all the people the way real pashmina does. The weaving is done by hand. It’s really incredible. It was such a great place to visit. I’ve been fans of the Shaw brothers for a long time.
It’s a craft that nobody is doing anymore. There are a few guys doing it that are in their 30s, but the old guys are the ones that are doing the magic. The old guys are leaving. They put together a room full of old guys for us to meet with, in that incredible light.
We went back to Delhi and headed to Kathmandu, one of those places you have to fly into. The mountains are right there.
Holy mountains, no trash, no trekkers.
Stay here at The Sanctuary Lodge. Location.
Who need art when you have God
Steps to enlightenment.
The cave hotel
The international sculptures union is going to have this demolished because it makes them look bad ♥️♥️
Go visit the Rudraksha guy when you’re in Kathmandu.
Nepal was ravishing, the old towns and temples. Swayambhunath, the place with the eyes, is just super.
We then went on to visit friends we first met in Mongolia. They work with cashmere making incredible blankets for Hermes. Jacquard looms were the first ever first computers. The card looms make the textiles they make, controlling the pulleys, and they do such incredible stuff all by hand.
And they also have a machine loom, which is going faster and is powered by a computer. A thousand strings at a time.
Incredibly beautiful interiors.
More photos from both places: