Need some salt?
On my way to the Indian border I ran out of salt so decided to top up my shaker with some fresh stuff. The second biggest salt mine in the world is located in Pakistan and famous for its pink Himalayan salt. It produces more than 350.000.000 kg per annum, which should be enough to refill my shaker. There are 19 stories, which extend to about 730 m inside the mountain and the tunnels cover more than 40 km. They estimate that there is still 100 to 600 million tons available to mine. Enough to salt our fries and dinners for a couple of years more.
The mine includes a replica of Minar-e-Pakistan (a statue of Allama Iqbal), a model of the Great Wall of China, a mosque and another of the mall road in Murree
Having enough fantasies of salted food, I headed to Lahore, the capital of Punjab, second largest city of Pakistan and gastronomy hotspot. It’s full of tiny crowded streets, hectic traffic, a long (and bloody) religious history and amazing Punjabi food.
The Badshahi Mosque or (Imperial Mosque) is the largest Mughal era masjid (or mosque). It is Lahore’s most iconic place and was built in 1671 by Emperor Aurangzeb. After the fall of the Mughal era it was used as a garrison by the Sikh empire and after that the British Empire used it too for military purposes. A lot of souls rest here…
Eating my last Halwa Puri and drinking the best Lassie (with Amazing fresh “yoghurt-crust” on top, I head towards the famous Pakistani – Indian border.
Pakistan & India: friend & enemy.
Crossing Pakistan to India (Wagah border) is probably the most epic border crossing in the whole universe. This border closing ceremony happens every day and is eccentrically amazing to see. Lowering the flags at the Attari-Wagah border is a daily military practice that the security forces of India and Pakistan have jointly followed since 1959.The drill is characterized by rapid dance like manoeuvres, raising legs as high as possible as some kind of battle, and showing off their big mustaches. It is some kind of symbol of the two countries’ rivalry, but also their brotherhood and cooperation between the two nations. Pretty interesting to see these two “friends & enemy” competing with each other.
Walking back to my motorcycle, I come across a familiar bike: Roxies Fireblade! I wait for her and we ride into the night towards the next city. Barely hitting the usual cow on the highway and dodging dusty potholes, we make it safely to Amritsar.
The holiest place in India
The golden temple (or Harmandir Sahib) is the holiest “Gurdwara” and the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism people. It’s an open house of worship and all people can visit freely, get a free meal or sleeping place.
Over 100.000 people visit the shrine daily (day and night). People come here to relax, pray, take a bath in the water, have some dinner, sleep, volunteer or talk with others. My “evening visit” evolved to a night visit with food, amazing talks with locals and meeting new people. A real spiritual and inspiring place!
Belgians and their beer
After the hard and strenuous task of a Belgian and his beers, being sober for more than a month in Pakistan (a strict Muslim country) is quite a test of endurance. Entering India resulted in a hunt for the first beers to drink. A microbrewery in town fulfilled all my wishes resulting in an amazing spectacle of beer tasting, burgers and being prematurely drunk, with absolutely no regrets. I must say, they had some really good beers!
The worst Day Dropping Bikes
I meet up with to Germans, Jessi and Mo, who were also traveling by Motorbike (two up) and we decide to team up for a couple of days. We planned a trip in Killar to drive one of the worlds most crazy roads: the Killar-Kistwar road which is supposed to be carved out of near vertical rock cliffs, spectacular views, river crossings, mud passages and even riding under a waterfall, Let’s see how that works out!
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