All the happenings, stories and snippets from the vibrant world of Serena Hotels Pakistan
Congratulations to Maimuna Iqbal, the winner of our first holiday competition. The winning blog post and pictures are below:
Summer is always the time to plan excursions to the hilly areas. A couple of years ago, my family and I decided to explore Pakistan’s Northern Areas.
We started our journey from Rawalpindi with great enthusiasm and reached Abbottabad in the afternoon. After a short rest and refreshment we started our actual voyage. Our first destination was Mansehra. The landscape here took a twist; it became more hilly, mountainous and green. We stopped here and captured the memorable moments on our cameras. On the way we came across an ‘Aabshaar Hotel.’ It was a small scale average ‘Khoka type’ hotel but still really interesting. Chairs, tables & charpayis were placed inside the running water. Just to enjoy it we had a cup of tea there.
We now headed towards the ‘Kaghan valley’ which was even more scenic. It seemed like a fairy wonderland. On one side was a continuous unending range of mountains and on the other side was the fast flowing, narrow river Kunhar. In some places the river was so deep that I’m sure it would have been frightening for new comers to the area. Initially a wave of fear ran through our veins too. We however became attuned to the new scene after travelling some further miles in. Whenever the road narrowed, the river appeared to get wilder; it looked like a girl dancing casually.
The scenes kept changing throughout our journey — it was really hard to guess which picturesque scene would appear before our eyes next. We entered Naran valley close to sunset. It had a pretty well illuminated market with a wide variety of shawls and handmade bags on sale. It’s my habit to always buy something from the local market to cherish the trip so I bought a few shawls.
By the time we reached the PMA Hut — our night abode — the day had turned into a dark, silent night. The hut appeared to be an enchanted Palace in the cool, clear moonlight. We had our dinner and went to bed. The steady, constant sound of the chirping of the river Kunhar nearby played the role of a lullaby. A bright shining morning welcomed us the next day. After having our breakfast on the silver river side in the fresh air, we spent a few hours roaming the valley. It was really thrilling to see the mighty glaciers during midsummer season.
After having spent two adventurous days in a soothing environment, we travelled back to our home town.The trip was like exploring the unknown world. It was indeed an unforgettable journey to the rarely seen, heavenly paradise of my beautiful homeland. The sweet memories will live on in my mind, fresh & pleasing, for years to come.