The gate of the mosque in Lahore
All the morning we read the Bible, watch some Christian channel on TV and do other stuff related to religion. At noon we get on a bike (5 adults and a baby!) and we go downtown. The traffic is very heavy and maybe because all of the stress we stop to feel the heat so acutely. We visited first the fort in Lahore – it has gigantic walls and doors. Then we went to the Badshahi Mosque which was built during 16 century and is one of the most impressive mosques we have ever seen.
At the house of the priest Patras John (the guy behind Mr. Shushtari)
This is the second time in three weeks when we have access to hot water. We can wash our clothes. We don’t need to sleep with our jackets because it is warm. For dinner we have thousands of fruits, Nutella, mango jam and many other things. On top of all this our host lives right next to the embassy and lends us his driver.
On the Road
Today is our last day in the mountains. Tomorrow we start the 30-hour journey to the capital of Pakistan. I don’t want to even fathom how we will survive traveling on the mega broken roads and the hair-pin bends. After that we plan to go to Lahore – one of the 3 most important cities of Pakistan. It is situated near the border with India.
View from Eagle’s Nest
We spend the next few days in Karimabad. First we visit the fort Baltit. The place is a parаdise for Korean and Japanese people – there are signs in Korean everywhere. There are many shops in the street. They sell mainly carpets, precious stones, dried fruits and traditional clothes.
Here comes the new day – full of adventures. We wake up at 6 in the morning and we start sightseeing. There are several old houses in the village (one of them was the summer palace of the Mir of Hunza – this is the title of the local rulers) and a museum, as well as an old fort that is 200 years old. We climb above the village and the sights are amazing.
Peaks in Hunza Valley
Apparently we led too luxurious and easy life the past few days and to counterbalance today was full of hardships. As soon as we prepared to leave the hotel the owner said we owe him 500 Rupees (5$) for the tent, but we refused to pay him. Later the hitchhiking was slow but after waiting for a while a guy took us to Battagram (around 20 km.), he treated us to tea and cookies at his office and it was hard to explain to him that we want to continue hitchhiking.
The caravan is blocked by a glacier on the way to Naran
We start hitchhiking towards the mountains. The driver of Shah and Fatima leaves us at the end of the town and a car stops right away. For me Pakistan is on the top of the list of all the countries, I have been up to now, regarding the hitchhiking. Almost everyone stops, most of the drivers speak English and the new and luxurious cars stop the most.
We wake up ready for a day full of improbable events and incredible people. How is it possible to travel only three weeks and live thorough millions of things that usually a person experiences for a year? We feel like living in a magical fairy-tale.
In this mood we rush to issue visas for India. First we hop on a mini-bus to the centre of Rawalpindi and from there to catch another mini-bus to Islamabad. Alas finding transport from Rawalpindi to Islamabad resulted to be not an easy task. We ask some people for directions but part of them don’t know and the other part tell us it’s behind the corner. When we reach the said corner and ask other people, they tell us to go back to where we just came from.
25.04 & 26.04
We spend the next few days in a relaxed manner – mostly staying at home and rarely going out. We visited the traditional artisan bazaar which is in a big decline, but we saw some interesting artifacts such as lamp made of camel skin and jewelry made of camel bone. Mainly these two days we visit people’s houses that have their own relaxed style which we named decadent luxury.