Dublin to Nepal, On Tour, Pakistan

Lahore

Lahore was our first experience of a Pakistan city as free men, at liberty to stroll around as we pleased. It was everything I wanted from a city in Punjab. Crazy traffic, big old colonial buildings beside Mhugal mosques, terrible smog and delicious street food. Finn and Richie had to go back to Ireland and had a flight the day after we arrived, so the first day they got ready for all that and I tried to find an atm that accepted my card.
We got to see sights the next day, and for me the big draw to come to Lahore was the Wagah Border, 30km out of town. I’ve wanted to see this place for years now, ever since it was shown on Michael Palin’s Himalaya travel show. 
The Wagah border is the border between India and Pakistan and the flag lowering ceremony has become a spectacle of military showmanship over the years. Now when you visit bleachers line the road on either side over the border and every evening they are filled with Pakistanis on one side and India the other cheering on their nation’s manoeuvres. The guards march up and down for an hour or so, blustering about with high kicks and shouts and striking impressive posses. The gates are open, the guard on each side shake hands and as the sun sets the flags are lowered, perfectly synchronised.

 

approaching the border

  

The Pakistan Army, right, in green fatigues. the Rangers, center in ceremonial garg and the cheerleader left

  

start of the ceremony as the rangers march to the gate

  

only a few meters from India, note the ranger in mid high-kick. these feature pretty heavily throughout the manouvers

  
 

the flags being lowered together

 

last march of the evening


 The Wagah border was definitely the highlight of Lahore as the next day, probably thanks to some interesting street food AndrĂ© and I were sick. We didn’t get s chance to see anything else, had to spend the day in bed. A day of rest though and we were good to go and ready to start cycling again. We were going to cycle to Islamabad and meet Finn and Richie there when they returned.

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