Pakistanis have a way of living out their favorite TV shows. Geographically speaking we are at the epicenter of reconfiguring another Game of Thrones season. That is to say that the show could very well be reshot here without any viewer batting an eye. We have Braavos where the Arabian Sea washes its waters. There is of course Westeros, where the plains are dotted with massive mosques, forts and gardens. Jaan Snow lives up in Winterfell and likes hanging out with the locals who are direct descendants of Genghis Khan. The land of the pure is profusely hot throughout the year owing to its presence near the Equator. In the summers many pack their bags for Winterfell and its surrounding territories. The winters open up a whole new chapter. Here are the top retreats to head to when the Night King is just around the corner:
There I said it. Currently the city looks like a scene out of a Stephen King story but let the mist die out to see the splendor with your own two eyes. With its ever-growing metro-philia, the CM did hand hundreds of death sentences to age long trees but the city still weaves like a non-linear, chromatic mesh of urban fabric. In the courtyard of the Badhshahi Mosque descends a deafening eeriness. Lawrence Garden which is now known as Bagh-e-Jinnah with its huge repertoire of trees is as amphibious as it was a century ago. In the winters it evolves into a tacit sliver of serenity.
I don’t think Islamabad needs any elaboration. The city serves as a manifesto for the most beautifully designed capitals catalogue in the market. The dewy fragrance of mountain breeze slides down to the foothills of the Margalla Hills and entrances many. Over the years, Islamabadis have turned into an exciting bunch (they no longer go to bed around 10ish). The daredevils can be find sipping coffee at Monal or hanging out at Burning Brownie to enjoy some indoor groove. The temperature does drop down considerably in the winters but that is what makes it more exciting.
Sounds about right. The Rakaposhi gazes back at you from above the abyss. The climate gets too chilly for even the local folk but nothing beats the sigh of glistening winter snow cradled on the tip of the infinitesimal Rakaposhi. You can lodge at Serena, a fine place with the most cordial of staff and enjoy your view from the balcony while feasting on some raw cherries.
The odd one out of the list but hear me out. For most Kohat brings about an image of an army base camp where soldiers perform death-defying feats. All in the name of good old patriotism. That’s not what it is though. The land is a jagged remain of a great big rock split into two. The views are phenomenal with lots of dams to further add to its beauty. The Pakhtun culture is transparently welcoming. The climate doesn’t drop too low and is reasonably fair throughout winters.
Most are unfamiliar with this gorgeous desert. Somewhere in southern Punjab is a yellow desert stream. In the summers it is a no go because of the intensity of the sun. In winters it is a delight. The sun shines the same but the overall temperature becomes cooler and less heaty. The nights are tremendously cold but are beautiful. Fix up a camp for yourself somewhere near a locality and just gaze at the stars all night long. Of course you would need intensive cocooning to spend the night.
From deserts to highlands to everything in between is what Pakistan is made of. Mango season does bring the king of fruits but also scorching, wailing summer heat. Orange season is more robust in terms of enjoyment and fun. The next time you plan on heading to Turkey might as well check out this beautiful nation’s map.