I never thought I’d climb the Himalayas. I had come to terms that the only Himalayans I’d see were on my Pinterest board. When I found myself in Pakistan this winter… Everything changed.
As an ignorant Westerner, I didn’t even realise Islamabad was nestled in the Himalayan foothills. Embarrassing but true.
Considered the foothills of the Himalayans, part of Murree Hills.
It took us two hours to climb to the top (#WorthIt).
At the very top sits the Monal Restaurant (when visiting, you must eat here).
The area was established as a national park in the 80’s.
It is a popular resort town in summer, just northeast of Islamabad.
However, when we visited there was lots of snow.
The Pakistani Air Force maintain a base in the mountains.
It was epic. Photos and words will never do it justice.
The last time I was this blown away my a country’s landscape was Iceland. And I LOVE Iceland.
There is something so humbling when the earth makes you feel so small and little. In my opinion, the mountains bring you closer to God. Life slows down for just a second and you feel the magnificence of it all.
Music Pick: Awake by Tycho
I always like to listen this album when editing. It’s still just as good on the 100th listen as on the first.
On the way back to Birmingham, my hubby and I popped into Oxford for a quick visit. However, we only managed a quick shop at Blackwell’s before we had to go.
Typical. I ask my husband to take me to one of the most historic cities in England and we end up in a bookshop.
Anyway, it just means we’ll have to return for a proper visit when the warmer weather returns. Yay.
In my humble opinion, you can tell a lot about a country by its colours, fonts and graphics.
Pakistan gave me plenty of material to feast my eyes upon. There were no billboards, instead ads were painted directly onto walls. The signs were written in both Urdu and English. And colour, lots of colour, was mandatory. By the end of the trip, I was in some kind of visual paradise.
Everything was such a wonderful mix of the familiar and unfamiliar. I’ll let you judge for yourself…
Just for fun:
A dance clip from one of my favourite Pakistani films, Ho Mann Jahaan (2016).
These photos barely do justice to the flower shop. Oh the fragrance, the sweet floral heaven! No matter how hard I try, I will never manage to bottle that smell in a photograph.
Pakistan seemed to be filled with roses. But these roses weren’t like the ones I was accustomed to in North America. They were more fragrant, colourful and bigger than any I had seen before. And much less expensive. Luckily for my husband, these roses had a shelf life and couldn’t be brought back home with us (or else our luggage would have weighed a ton).
The open air shop was busy. Customers quickly came and went but not before bargaining for what they felt was a fair price. The flowers were neatly arranged. The sellers handled them like precious cargo (which they were). I could have easily spent an hour just watching the daily going-ons.
If you find yourself in any Pakistani city, please do yourself a favour and go visit a flower market. This way you can truly appreciate the sweet fragrance like no other.