A Trip To Pakistan
So I had originally booked to visit Pakistan in April 2020 but by then the dreaded 5 letter “C” word was in full swing and forced the country into lockdown.
Why Pakistan you may ask? Well my son is half Pakistani and he has a whole family over there who we haven’t seen since 2016!
If you’re on my personal Facebook you will know I rocked up at Heathrow airport on the 14th October ready to check in only to be told my flight was the previous day! How did I manage that? Well between managing the shop, arranging a cat sitter and doggy daycare whilst my dad was away on holiday – he is my manager if you didn’t already know! I’d managed to mix up the days!
Anyway, £600 lighter i managed to get on an afternoon flight via Abu Dhabi to Islamabad.
We arrived a day later than planned in Islamabad, to temperatures of 29 degrees
Who knew Pakistan had such great weather in October? We were a little jet lagged and had originally planned to head to Kashmir the next day for a wedding (which we ended up missing the first day of because our car wasn’t ready.)
We spent 2 days in Rawalpindi before we headed to Kashmir late in the evening and arrived in the middle of the night. On arrival we were met by lots of family members who were so excited to see us (by us I mean my son, just kidding I think they love me too 😉)
The next day it was lots of meet and greet, it was also the day of the wedding so kind of killed two birds with one stone by meeting everyone in one place.
The bride looked amazing (Pakistani fashion is so vibrant!) it was a lovely function and great food but anyone who knows me knows i am not a fan of large gatherings and I was totally out of my comfort zone so I slipped out mid-afternoon and retired to my room.
Over the next few days we had family visiting from the nearby villages and we visited some of them. You know to get to some of these houses in the villages in Kashmir you need to train to be a mountaineer 🤣 but the scenery is amazing! There is one Aunties house i dread going to every time! As much as I love them, the climb down and back up is a killer!
Kashmiri’s are one of the most hospitable peoples i have ever met, everyone wants you to visit their house and when you visit you should see the spread of food they put on for you!
After a week in the village we travelled back to Rawalpindi where we were staying in Bahria town (this has changed so much in 4 years!) It felt like I was in the USA with the huge modern houses and the Giga Mall down the road. It didn’t feel like I was in Pakistan at all.
Venture 30 mins down the road to Saddar and you can experience the authentic Pakistan with the street fruit and veg sellers, the hustle and bustle of the clothing designers/retailers and the roadside sellers of samosa and pakoray.
After a couple of days we ventured back to Kashmir to the village to devote the last few days of our holiday to the family. My sister in law had a duat-e-khair (kind of like an engagement party) and her wedding is planned for May. My son absolutely loved his time in Pakistan, he connected with his grandmother, great grandfather, cousins and aunties on a deeper level (he was only 6 the last time we came) and hopefully we won’t leave it so long before we visit again.