Four girls, eight frustrating months of rigorous thesis, results into a distinction for one and for the other three —- let’s just say we all managed to pass with flying colors 😉 As they set off for their most awaited graduation trip, oh but wait, it’s the end of November already and all the beautiful part of the country especially Northern part of Pakistan is covered in heavy snow, the routes are blocked IT’S NOT SAFE.
Every cloud has a silver lining, having our faiths tied to it, barely convincing our families we head off for ‘the heaven on earth’ Kashmir.
It was one long journey, kicking off from a 20 hour train ride a night sleep in a little spooky hotel, three tons of deep and intense gossip sessions, infinite amount of selfies followed by a very typical Lahori breakfast in the ‘gawalmandi food street’ where the beautifully colored heritage buildings added life to our first day of this amazing trip we all were looking forward to.
We were all set for another 8 hours of drive, still keeping up to the hype, we were clueless that climax of this picture will be a lot more than we could have asked for.
So we couldn’t reach to Kashmir that day *as our parents warned* the routes were blocked, the four hyper excited squirrels reached Balakot by night having no idea about the place.
The night was cold, ah, at least, we thought it was, the temperature was around 1 to -1 but that’s what was there for, to enjoy the cold breeze in the mountains.
Living in the part of the country where you hardly experience winter in true sense it was exciting to live in that moment to sit by the fire and have a little bonfire of our own packing our self in layers of blankets cause hey! we didn’t have any heaters around.
Next morning as soon as we got out of our beds, we experienced the most beautiful morning ever, the soothing morning breeze, the sun shining on the green mountains, made me fell in love with the place at once.
After the breakfast, we had to leave this beautiful place to go to an even more exciting one, OH YES! Here comes Shogran, it is almost two hours up from Balakot people usually visit this piece of heaven in summers or spring and soon enough we knew why is that so.
Shogran had its first snowfall of the season so it was like a jackpot for the squirrels.
Stepping out of the jeeps into the snow no one could have calmed us down then, from making a funny snowman to snow fights, we had our first snowboarding and snow sliding experience when the sun was setting in the snow covered mountains, nothing more can be added to it.
Every now and then we had to come back to our rest house and sit by the fire and get ourselves *defrosted* for some more fun.
The beautiful day ended with a delicious Barbeque arranged by our trip organizers (they sure were really good at their job). The night was freezing cold, the temperature dropped down to -12 or maybe more than that, we had never experienced this cold, as I mentioned earlier and trust me I am not sure I want to experience that cold night again.
It was hard to sleep sound but the excitement of a beautiful day waiting kept us together, soon the night was over, the mountains and the snow greeted us.
That morning, the wind was cold we had a long walk in the area and all of us had a little alone time with the landscape, I left a part of my heart there.
Routes opened up, we headed to Kashmir, there are some places when the pictures cannot justify the beauty of the place, and well this trip was all about that. There were times I didn’t want to blink my eyes to miss a tiny second of that peaceful land. It was breathtaking.
A lot of people think it’s not safe to come to this part of the world but I can go there again and again and again. The beauty is not confined to the mountains only —– it’s the people —– their language—- their culture —- every part of this journey is something to hold on to for the rest of my life.
Latest posts by Nimra Niazi (see all)
- Travel with me – Kashmir “The Heaven on Earth”, Pakistan - April 12, 2016
- Qudsia Ehtram: An Interview with a Writer by Heart and Profession - March 23, 2016
- An interview with Arsalan Farrukh – An Architect by day and an Artist by night - March 12, 2016