I arrived safely in Lahore in Pakistan’s Punjab province, after a transit in Dubai and Karachi. Immediately after exiting the airport terminal and roaming in my taxi it’s congested streets towards the center, I smell of deja-vu hit me with my previous adventures in India, Bangladesh, and Sri-Lanka. And with a reason. They used to be part the same British colonial Empire prior to the Indian Independence Act in 1947. Similar yet very different as the main religion here is Islam, which means dressing code is very different, food is much more reliant on meat and Islamic customs must be followed even though it doesn’t seem too conservative at first sight.
Lahore was the perfect city to arrive! Eith 10 million inhabitants, it’s second to Karachi in size but much more livable and modern than its southern sister. The first thing that got me was the warm welcome of its citizens, being extremely helpful and kind to me.
Special thanks to Ahmad which received me with arms wide open and introduce me to his city and even his family, especially his beautiful 6 years old little girl who even wrote me a welcome card. So cute! Her little 6 y/o cousin Azmay was also super cute and promise to make another welcome card for me 🙂
The old part of Lahore is just magnificent, the Badshahi Mosque (the one in the picture above) is just breathtaking! It’s the 7th biggest mosque in the world, but for me, it was definitely the most beautiful. Also to note is the massive Lahore Fort, nicely conserved through the centuries and a joy to visit. Old Lahore is also very nice, small streets with motorbikes speeding through the tiny streets, the smell of spices through the air and such a nice place to walk around and getting lost. Overall, Lahore was very safe and I never felt threatened to walk the streets alone.
Ahmed’s little girl Ashna Basit with the welcome card she made for me!
I then visited the more modern part of the city called Guilberg 2, packed with all the American chains of fast food restaurants. It’s easy to see the difference in lifestyle here, streets are clean, traffic more controlled, security at every door, etc. This is the Pakistan of the future.
I’ll have 2 weeks in Pakistan and I’m already gladly impressed by it. I can’t wait to make it to the mountains in a few days and see what everyone is talking about. more to come…
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