“Today was about chasing sun-rays and sunsets. All things beautiful that give you peace are worth chasing. Everything else isn't…” - April Mae Monterrosa
|(Minaret of Badshashi Mosque during sunset)|
Day 10: Friday, 18 September 2015
Route: Besham - Lahore
Distance: 612 Km
Shalimar Express Train
|(College students with our guide, Peter)|
|(The hustle bustle of a busy morning market)|
|(Mansehra hill-top restaurant and view point)|
|(Two men waiting for a public transport)|
|(Qingqi and Donkey cart, other forms of transport)|
We bypassed Islamabad and drove on the Grand Trunk Road then entered the M-2 Motorway and had our lunch and prayer break at the R&R. While having our lunch, there was a breaking news on TV. At least 29 people, including an army captain, were killed as militants attacked a heavily-guarded Pakistan Air Force base in Badhaber area on the outskirts of Peshawar early this morning. The armed group Tehreek-e-Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack. This was the reason for the extra tight security we noticed along the highway this morning.
|(Arriving at the Tol Plaza in Lahore)|
|(A Police vehicle escorting us in Lahore city)|
We reached Lahore in late afternoon and our coaster was once again escorted by a Police vehicle. As we will be boarding the train to Karachi, we stopped at Hotel Fort View to arrange for packed dinner. At the rooftop restaurant we celebrated a birthday and had Mango lassi while watching the sun set.
|(A brief tea break before boarding the train)|
|(A painting on the wall)|
|(The rooftop restaurant during sunset)|
Although escorted, we had to throng the massive traffic jam of Lahore to get to the Railway Station to board the 20:00 Shalimar Express. The Shalimar Express is a daily express train service between Lahore and Karachi. It covers the 1,286 km distance in more than 18 hours with a few stops at major towns of Faisalabad, Multan cantt, Bhawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Rohri and Hydrabad.
|(The busy Lahore Train Station)|
|(Saying goodbye to our Police escort)|
|(Boarding the Shalimar Express)|
As it was dark outside, the long-haul train ride was boring at night. With nothing to see or do, right after dinner, we straightened our tired backs on the narrow bed of the 6-berth carriage and slept soundly till morning.