Kathmandu's Thamel tourist district last October:
The Kathmandu Valley includes three ancient cities that were independent states from the 12th to 18th century. There are seven UNESCO World Heritage sites! The last truly devestating earthquake occurred in 1934 and damaged many ancient shrines; some were still in the process of being rebuilt. Kathmandu Valley is a living museum, where people interacting daily with their historic past. Yesterday's distaster will sorely test the people of Nepal.
Basantapur Durbar Square UNESCO World Heritage Site, last October:
Kathmandu city now:
Another UNESCO site badly hit was the town of Bhaktapur, about 13 km east of Kathmandu. This magic place was untouched by modern urbanisation; cars were not even allowed on its ancient brick streets! Our visit was during the harvest season when the town was buzzing with activity.
Today my heart aches for them
Earthquake pictures courtesy Getty Images