Did You Know Chaman Ice Cream (Lahore) Have Lovers From Abroad Too?

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This fascinating foreign couple’s stay was paid by Pakistan’s police to sleep in a hotel instead of the parking lot!

Jovago Pakistan recently interviewed them. Check out their interesting stories.

  1. Our first question is tell us a little detail about yourself, Anna and Heiner.

Anna: I am 30 years old. In Germany, I worked in a children’s hospital as a doctor, specializing in pediatrics. I like traveling since I was little.

My parents, sisters and me used to travel to Italy and France with our caravan. For me, camping is the best way of traveling.

You have kind of your own house but live very close to the nature and people.

Heiner: I am 31 years old. I worked in business consulting in the German automotive industry.

My career in overland traveling started in 2012, when I did a six months long motorbike trip across the USA. After that trip, I had the dream of driving from Germany to Australia.

Anna did not like the motorcycle idea, so I could at least convince her to do it in a 4×4 vehicle.

We started our trip, from Germany to Australia overland in our Toyota Land Cruiser “Willie”, in May 2016.

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  1. What was the primary reason to visit Pakistan?

Anna: Actually, our first route did not include Pakistan. But as we travel quite slowly we had to change our plans and cross Pakistan to India, where we wanted to spend the cold winter months.

Heiner: Yes, we realized that it was getting too cold in the areas, we wanted to go to.

After looking at all the options, going to India for winter was the most appealing. So the main reason to go to Pakistan was that it was on our way.

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  1. What was your perception about Pakistan before your trip?

Anna: We met some fellow overlanders in Europe who had just crossed Pakistan.

They all loved it! Plus, the media in Germany doesn’t report very much about Pakistan nowadays. So actually, we were not scared to enter this country.

We were looking forward to getting to know the Pakistani people and their culture.

Heiner: Yes, the best travel advice comes from travelers who have just visited the area! That made me very confident, that we would have a good time in Pakistan.

In a way, the knowledge about the initial police escort through Balochistan was a bit intimidating.

But we also knew, that if we would not like Pakistan, we could as well just transit in less than a week.

Now, we are very happy that we did not do that, but stayed for seven weeks.

  1. How will you describe your trip to Pakistan in three words?

Anna: generosity, hospitality, good-hearted

Heiner: friendliest people ever

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  1. What makes Pakistan different from countries you have visited so far?

Anna: Traveling in Pakistan is still traveling off the beaten track. Compared to other countries, we didn’t meet many other tourists there.

Of course, you also won’t find that amount of police escorts and army checkpoints in most other countries.

But the main difference is the people. I think they cannot be topped in their unbelievable extend of hospitality. And I have never been to a country that hosts so many diverse cultures and landscapes.

Heiner: Pakistan is on the edge towards a – I hope – very bright future. You feel that things are changing in many aspects. Security, economic and social situations are all affected. There is a lot going on!

Also I have to mention the Pakistani people.

Especially all our friends in Jacobabad, Jaranwala, Islamabad, Peshawar, Chitral and Lahore have made it very special to us.

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  1. How many Pakistani cities you have visited so far?

We entered from Iran. We visited Multan, Faisalabad, Islamabad, Peshawar, Chitral, Gilgit and Lahore.

  1. What 3 places you will recommend to every foreigner to visit in Pakistan?

Anna: We really liked Chitral Valley (don’t miss Kalash Valley, if you’re there) and Swat Valley. As a city, we recommend Lahore.

Heiner: I’d like to throw in the dining room of a Pakistani home, Chaman Ice Cream in Lahore and Badshahi Mosque in early morning sunlight.

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  1. If you get a chance to visit Pakistan again, which 3 destinations you would like to explore?

We are actually going back to Pakistan in late April. The Northern Areas are on our route.

Skardu Valley and the KKH up until Khunjerab Pass. The next time we visit, we’d like to see the south. Karachi and around.

  1. What were some of the problems you faced in Pakistan as a foreigner?

Heiner: No real problems. Everybody was very nice and hospitable. Especially officers seemed a bit overcaring, sometimes.

Anna: Yes, police and army seemed to be worried about our security a lot.

It is not really fun to drive behind a police escort and with restrictions where to go and where to stay.

We actually never felt unsafe without police. So the escorts reduced the fun of traveling a lot. But of course, they just want to protect the tourists.

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  1. What will be your answer if anyone asks you, “Why Should I visit Pakistan?”

Heiner: Pakistan is a hidden gem! Go there, meet the friendliest people in the world and visit one most beautiful mountain areas. You will be treated like a guest of honor and make memories for a lifetime.

Anna: You should explore this country with its beautiful landscape. It offers you beaches and breathtaking mountains. You should get to know these great people, their hospitality, and their delicious food.

  1. Out of the different types of cuisines, you had in Pakistan, which one was your favorite? And why?

Heiner: Oh, a lot of fun of traveling in Pakistan is food!

From simple street snacks like samosas or shawarmas to kebabs and biryanis, we loved it! I personally liked the spicy Punjabi cuisine.

Anna: Among favorites rank chicken karahi, a sweet and spicy fruit chaat, oh, and don’t forget to try the local sweet varieties!

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  1. Share one of your most memorable moment or incident in/about Pakistan.

Anna: We visited the Culture Day in one school in Sindh. It was one of our best days. The children were so motivated to perform the local dances and songs on stage.

The children were so motivated to perform the local dances and songs on stage. Afterward, they were just happy to get a selfie with us.

Heiner: Haha, one night, police would not allow us to sleep in our car in a hotel parking lot along the KKH, so they paid for a room for us.

  1. Any ending note for readers?

Anna: We totally fell in love with Pakistan! It was an unexpected highlight on this trip so far.

We hope tourism will come back to this great country and traveling will get easier without restrictions.

Heiner: Yes, we hope that the remaining security issues will be resolved soon and more foreigners dare to visit.

The Pakistanis, this great bunch of people, we wish all the best and a prosperous and peaceful future.

Jovago Pakistan

With this, the interview session with the couple came to end.

 

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