During the weekend of February 9-10th, my colleague/roommate and I took a trip to Lahore. Lahore is the capital of the southern province of Punjab and also said to be the 'culture capital' of Pakistan. Unlike my home of the relatively new and diplomatic Islamabad, Lahore is an extremely old city with many mosques, monuments and interesting cultural relics. Maija and I only had two days in Lahore and unfortunately, didn't have a ton of time to explore this great city. Armed with a quick list of 'must-dos' which, of course included eating great food and shopping, we tackled the city as best we could. We visited Badshahi Mosque, ate way too much desi (South Asian) BBQ, drank too many cappuccinos and probably took too many naps for such a short vacation. Nonetheless, it was really great to break out of our little work bubble and explore a bit more of the country. 
Lahore, Old City

Badshahi Mosque, Lahore

My colleague/roommate and I

Guard of Badshahi Mosque really wanted a picture....

Badshahi Mosque, Lahore

Badshahi Mosque, Lahore

Badshai Mosque, Lahore

Badshahi Mosque, Lahore

Lahore Fort Grounds
 The next weekend, we decided to head to Rawalpindi (the Twin City to Islamabad) to check out some of the infamous truck art paintings in progress.

Truck art is certainly one of the most well-known symbols of Pakistan. Transport trucks or even sometimes smaller commuter trucks are covered in garish colours, lights and symbols - all hand painted. These designs and colours are said to ward off evil spirits and promote good luck - something you need a lot of when driving Pakistan's roads!

Rawalpindi (The Twin City to Islamabad)

Chai Break, Rawalpindi

The son of a very famous truck artist. I bought a few of his paintings! Rawalpindi.

Child playing in Rawalpindi.

Colleague/Roommate and I enjoying the truck art! Rawalpindi.

Colleague in Rawalpindi.

Beautiful truck art; Rawalpindi

Some kids coming to check us out! Rawalpindi.

Afghan Refugee Camp, Rawalpindi

Before 2006, there was an official refugee camp located between Islamabad and Rawalpindi. It was estimated that about 25,000 Afghans were living here until its closure. To this day, about 7,335 Afghans are reported to be living in Rawalpindi in an unofficial refugee camp.


Afghan Refugee Camp, Rawalpindi.