A journey to the roof of Pakistan

A journey to the roof of Pakistan.

Many tourists see Pakistan as an unsafe and isolated country held under oppressive religious laws. As I learned on a recent Road trip to karakoram, however, this country is filled with wonderful surprises. Join me discover the life of people on the ‘roof-top’ of the country through my trip to Pakistan blog: Pakistan travel blog A journey to the roof of Pakistan.

 

Pakistan is the Karakoram, a magnificent mountain range spanning the borders of Pakistan, India, and China, inspiring thoughts of the arduous camel caravan journeys along the Silk Road. Pakistan is a rich and distinct culture that can be seen through the character of its long-haul trucks. Pakistan is the simple, peaceful lifestyle of its people in the enchanting Hunza Valley. I went to Pakistan to discover these wonderful things and ended up discovering myself as well.

The Karakoram, a great challenge on the Silk Road

The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes established during China’s Han Dynasty. It originated from the Chang’an Citadel present-day Xi’an and stretched to the Roman Empire. Camel caravans had to transport heavy loads from China to other nations by traversing the frigid and treacherous Pamir Mountains and the isolated Karakoram Range, which connects Pakistan and Kashgar an oasis city in Xinjiang, China. Traveling the Karakoram highway today remains a dangerous challenge. Its location at the height of 4,730 meters above sea level makes it the highest paved international road in the world. This mountain road is sometimes unsafe, full of zigzagging curves and easily affected by flash floods. Flash floods and landslides have claimed thousands of lives on this road.that’s why i prefer to take a road trip to krarakoram.

In order to experience traveling a branch of the Silk Road, I bought a one-way bus ticket from Rawalpindi to Hunza Valley. They do not sell return tickets at the same location because the weather in Karakoram is unpredictable and affects scheduling. The bus departs at 9 pm every day and arrives at Hunza at 6 pm the next day if the weather is good the road is nearly 700 km. I had to make ten copies of my passport and visa to submit at security posts, as this road belongs to the sometimes unstable Kashmir autonomous area. As the bus was preparing to depart, a man in civilian clothing used a small camera to take a picture of each passenger’s face. A local friend explained that due to insecurity in the country, drivers or police will keep passengers’ images to ensure their records in case of unexpected events. I started sweating when I saw the driver place a gun beside the steering wheel. It seemed to demonstrate how unsafe the area could be.but that road trip to karakoram has made my journey special

 

The bus ran relatively fast until dawn, then stopped for two hours by a roadside inn to allow the driver to rest. In the morning we got back on the bus to undertake the difficult-to-access Khunjerab stretch of mountain road. It began to rain lightly. Drivers in Kashmir are afraid of heavy rains, as they can cause landslides and block buses. Fortunately, we arrived at Hunza on schedule.our Road trip to karakoram was surprised us in the bus

 

The way back, however, did not go as smoothly. The Karakoram was blocked by hundreds of huge rocks falling down the road. I had to stay in Hunza an additional two days until the snow and rain cleared.

Road trip to karakoram

 

 

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4 European Cities for a Perfect Summer Road Trip.

4 European Cities for a Perfect Summer Road Trip.

Europe is a picturesque holiday destination with so many countries, cities and regions brimming with different cultures. The best part? It’s all easily accessible by car, making it perfect for a road trip between some iconic cities. Don’t forget to give the accelerator a rest and enjoy the bikes of Amsterdam, the river and park walks in London, and the Berlin tram line. Europe looks stunning in the sunshine, so pick your favorite wheels and hit the road.

 

London

 

There’s no better way to kick start your European summer adventure than in London. With five airports in and around the city and an international train station, it’s a breeze to reach this world-famous city.

 

Park your car and get off the beaten path—you’ll catch all the iconic landmarks as you travel by foot and tube. Head to East London—the wonderfully graffitied home of the hipster hangout, Shoreditch. With unique shopping and dining experiences as well as some great pubs and bars, you’ll fill a day if not a weekend. Bookmark Brick Lane, Spitalfields Market and Boxpark, then find a rooftop bar like the new cocktail lounge Golden Bee and take in a great view of the city.

Berlin

 

Just over 400 miles east of Amsterdam is Berlin, and if you want to get your adrenaline pumping, find a route that takes you on the German Autobahn. These German highways have no federally mandated speed limit, but an advised speed of 81 mph.

 

Renowned for its art scene and buzzing nightlife, Berlin is as trendy as it gets. Make sure you finish off your day of touring with a glass of wine or a large stein on one of the city’s many rooftop terraces like Amano Bar or Monkey Bar and watch the German city come to life at night.

Amsterdam

Night view of Zuiderkerk in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Continuing your road trip, pack up the cheese and wine you smuggled from Paris and head to Amsterdam, a 5 hour drive away. Stop off and stretch your legs with a walk around the cobblestone streets of the Flemish influenced French city of Lille, which borders Belgium. Lille is known for its beer, architecture and local dishes like waffles and moules-frites (mussels and fries).

 

Amsterdam is home to our first European hotel, Kimpton De Witt, surrounded by beautiful canals and homes with their own unique personalities. Leave the car parked—with around 250 miles of bike paths, this city is the perfect place to cycle around to enjoy the sunshine. Spend an afternoon canal-side at one of the city’s great bars with a pair of sunglasses and a cool drink, and relax for a few hours.

 

 

Paris

 

The drive from London to Paris will take you about 6 hours (sans snack breaks) with a short trip across the English Channel—either by a leisurely ferry ride, or by loading the car onto a train for a speedy 35-minute crossing through the Eurotunnel. Traveling through the northern regions of France, you’ll have gone from the one of the most famous cities in the world to the most romantic.

 

Paris is as beautiful as you hoped it would be—especially in the summer. Once you’ve hit all of Paris’ hot spots, take a breather and relax at Monet’s garden in Giverny, a 90-minute drive outside the city. Another great summer attraction is the spectacular Versailles, less than an hour’s drive from the city center. Stroll around the extraordinary gardens and spectacular palace, a World Heritage Site since 1979.

 

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