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.
The Wagah border was definitely the highlight of Lahore as the next day, probably thanks to some interesting street food André 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.