Travel to Northern Pakistan


Like to welcome to the show. David Harden from travel worn SATCHEL DOT com. Who's come to talk to us about northern Pakistan? David welcome to the show. Thank you Chris. Thank you at least to be. Your accent is clearly not one from northern Pakistan. We're talking T- well you're in the UK. Near Windsor what led you to Pakistan give you the shortened version. But when I was eighteen. I decided to travel overland from the UK to Australia. And I could as far as Afghanistan before you realized you'd run out of land. It was not in the Russians. Got In the way so yes. Well the happens doesn't it tells away two years and decided that still WanNa girl on the Silk Roads still interested Islamic culture and art and architecture and filling in the gaps. Ever since. I've sort of done Australia and Southeast Asia and all of Europe and a few of the songs but Pakistan is always there the one that I needed to to tick off really well in you chose northern Pakistan on this particular trip which as we were talking before hand you said is quite different from southern Pakistan and that would be a whole different trip. North and south is very different. I mean the north. It's cooled in those areas and they three huge mountain ranges. So you have the to the West. You have the Hindu Kush in the sense of you have the character forms and then surrounded on the north and east by the Himalayas. And they're absolutely wonderful mountain ranges but as you get further south. Islamabad where I flew into the great trunk. Road becomes planes. Sunset becomes desert would way down to Karachi New Arabian Sea. So yeah very two distinct areas. Shall we start them in? Islamabad actually just flew into Islamabad as bad as modern city. One of the interesting says the city right next to it as well. Andy which is the ancient city but Islamabad is the modern city Pakistan pill. Much longer grid lines are easy to navigate. I would say that actually just before I started this trip on originally planned to buy a motorbike in Islamabad an travel up through the Karakoram highway and then head off into various places. I'd read about in various books to say that I spoke to that is a big Pakistan community here in the UK. And I have up the friends one. Who's a Kashmiri? And he said well to be honest. I know you're motorcyclist but the roads are something else and I would recommend a jeep at least so you'd better listen to this sort of thing. They listen to him and I got myself a cheap and a guide to me actually at Islamabad airport. I spoke at the moment number weeks number of months. Really sending out my tinman. He can find out about what I want to and that was great and so I had this a jeep drive and I have to say it was probably the best decision. I made an enormously. I would travel alone and make my way round but I think this would have been a journey too far. How did you find a jeep and a driver a Kashmiri gentlemen here in the UK who promotes northern Pakistan but wonderful gentleman and he put me in touch with Earth's people over the and I came up with one Sean who you turn out to be absolutely brilliant and good thing was that. He's his the Chinnery but often is not. We will turn off the rodent gun sale. This liquid interesting here. I suggest we don't do this. And I think the question slips or went what about safety because one sure yeah this image of cool so Pakistan and especially the northern areas and you know I I thought of the trip I plan was to go up towards promised so and Eko took care of it. Sometimes Chris when you meet someone. They have absolute confidence. That you've made a really good decision. They already felt towards the back end of the trip. We ended up in a shallow. He said near the Afghanistan border he said had I gone two weeks earlier suggested shallow harassed security reasons and it's nice having someone who has local intelligence so to speak and he was always on his phone is always checking where we were not set up. There wasn't one time the only time was rather Longley wanting planted in someone's house and it was an old soldier. I didn't notice but his granddaughter sent his granddaughter all and having a cup of tea with him dump. She walked in with this shotgun undecided K. And he said I started brandishing. The shotgun around me and I was okay Maybe I made a mistake too much of a price to pay for a cup of tea but it turned out that he wanted to show me the gun which was made in combat nineteen sixty in Birmingham the UK because as from the UK and then he was crowded this so I mean that's the momentarily. I felt unsafe that that was it. That was the extent to how I felt and say in Pakistan excellent now you said as I said Islamabad. You said that's a modern city. It sounded like in your tone I was hearing so I didn't spend a lot of time Islam Abbad. I was more interested in the mountain. I sort of pasta very quickly. In fact which we left about an hour nine did we did come back so actually to see Faisal mosque. Okay which is a really beautiful most very modern initiative about nine thousand nine hundred and again a very very beautiful most news in the foothills of the Himalayas. It's great visit down as the last place of his. But I'll tell you about that. I if I may so folks in about nine thousand nine hundred. Eighty eight defies most because in Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Stunt up the hundred and twenty million dollars. Us to build it as one does the money partly he fis but what is interesting is he. Made a competition to will be architects. Come up with the design. Took you shocked. The name one is an Basti. The whole architecture on a Bedouin. Tent shot was pretty interesting in the appealed to King Faisal and he's a magnificent structure because it's like an eight sided tend to really doesn't like a tent and so big on this enormous white marble and gray marble and you just see it for miles driving towards thinking okay. Looks Okay and something. You just don't know the ten minutes down the road you think. I'm sure I should have been by now this grid system of Islam about so you go up. It's the end of the road unless they just ended up votes off the Bat. So twenty minutes you eventually get close to it and then you start to really appreciate the enormity of small the structure and get three hundred thousand people praying ally inside. I think it's ten thousand but with the porticos and the data coca grounds. You've got three hundred thousand people. Pray there and it was real highlight. Visit every interested in style of architecture. But one thing is that if people do visit to you have to take your shoes and men and this white marble and greyish sort of marble and it wasn't a particularly sunny hot day but every time I stepped off the white mob wants the gray marble. My feet wants to get an angle for a pit shuttle. Take a shortcut to the record. My feet was scolded eventually got in as well but that just finished prayer and like go up to the main entrance to get inside to have a look at this incredible space inside and they said No. I'm sorry you can't come in and I said well look. I sort of come with away from London. See this is. This is typical of buckets. Johnny people that they will try and be as helpful as possible really nice and he said okay look you should really go with this young man and he spoke to the man order when we rolled around the back this young man to be around the back and there was a back door and he took my camera with me. He said look no pitches inside and just tap a low. I thought this really really nice touch and again to tread on the carpet I saw rob and really nice and re serene place children. Having lessons and really great atmosphere. I came back and said I gave him my camera and come back and I was sort of going to complaints because everyone in that had come phones. So fees and pitches thinking well. I was lucky enough to be let in so I wasn't going to push that but really worth of visit. This is a lot of history to this place. That modern architecture ignace absolutely stunning in the surroundings of the hills with the backdrop of the foothills of the Himalayas. It's a

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