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Pakistan - Islamabad - chat after prayer - s.n. photo

"
Islamabad is an orderly, relatively quiet town, the sharp opposite of Karachi.

Everywhere the inscription: CDA - means Capital Development Authority. They take care of the parks, they provide water and electricity, and they keep the streets tidy and clean 🙂

In the artificially created capital, everyone is oriented by sector. For instance: I live in Block 7 of Sector G. All streets are straight and perpendicular. There are sectors from A to I.
Sector H has only hospitals and educational institutions, and Sector I is the industrial district. (Ata, 2022)

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Unlike elsewhere in other Pakistani big cities, no chaotic traffic in Islamabad. The streets are wide and clean, parks and green spaces break up the concrete wasteland, and wild marijuana grows along some entire streets of the city. We can not see time-worn donkey carts. Instead, we find western cafes, fast food outlets, and restaurants - pleasing the demand of numerous foreign diplomats and well-paid expatriates.



Practicals

Transport

,, Travel to Islamabad with the Green Line Express. The journey takes 1521 km and 21 hours. The train is so long that it takes three minutes for the train to roll into the main station. The crowd is literally occupying the train. There is the economy and business class, air-conditioned sleeping car, third class, anything you can think of.
The next day, 50C is expected on the road. I hope to get through the path 🙂 with positive energy. "

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Unfortunately, Islamabad is an environmentally conscious city, and rickshaws are banned; there are only motor and car taxis in the capital.
All motorcyclist Bykeas have a green helmet. You have to flag them. Fare about 100 rupees.  

Public transport in Pakistani style 🙂:
Islamabad is the first in the country to try actual metropolitan public transport by metro.
It is on the busiest avenue in the capital and connects Parliament with Rawalpindi, the sister city of Islamabad. The metro bus runs in the middle of the boulevard, separated from the traffic. Most of the stations are above ground, but there are also underground stations.
The passengers buy a chip for 30 rupees, valid for 1 hour from the moment of entry. Men and women take off separately on the platforms, and it is convenient to travel on air-conditioned Chinese buses.

The station manager only lets in as many passengers as avoid a terrible crowd.  Frequent lines, almost every minute comes the next bus. (Ata, 2022)



Islamabad - Metro bus - Ata photo

Islamabad - Metro bus - Ata photo

Islamabad - Metro - Ata photo

Islamabad - green minivan cabs - Ata photo

Food

My breakfast is being prepared in a corner dining room. There are many customers here, so the food must be good 🙂

One of the staff kneaded the dough, his dear colleague baked the Paratta bread, the old bearded uncle was already stirring the eggs for my omelet, and the one with the thin mustache was making the Doodh Patim 🙂
And it's done. Pricing is simple. Each piece is Rs.40. So, an omelet made from two eggs plus bread and tea costs 1,40 USD.
I try to be local, so I have to eat everything with my hands 🙂 (Ata, 2022)

Islamabad - Chapati roti - Ata photo

Islamabad -breakfast - Ata photo

Islamabad - cook in action - Ata photo

Shopping

The symbol of modern Islamabad is the Centaurus or, as the locals call it, the Three towers. The giant building, like the Faisal Mosque, can be seen everywhere in the city and was inaugurated in 2022.

Face control at the entrance; the fancy complex does select its audience. Almost all western brands are available inside; the smell of globalization makes me bored. The price level has scared me off. But the mall is trendy, with well-dressed Pakistani crowds and expatriates living in the embassy quarter.
On the side facing the city, there is a cafe and restaurant with a vast open terrace; In my lack of consistency, I might spend my next espresso coffee time here 🙂 (Ata, 2022)

Islamabad - Centaurus Mall - Ata photo

Islamabad - The symbol of modern Islamabad is the Centaurus or as the locals call the Tower of the Triplets. - Ata photo

Islamabad - The Centaurus Mall - Ata photo

Public safety

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Islamabad - Police checkpoint sponsors Pepsi (or vice versa) - Ata photo

Health

Although tap water is fairly clean, it is recommended to drink bottled water instead.

Islamabad - shampooing - Ata photo

Islamabad - mask - Ata photo (2022)

Others

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Islamabad - Purification - Ata photo

Background

Destination in brief

Population (in 2022): 601,000, but 2 million with the agglomeration

History

"Pakistan's capital was Karachi for many centuries, but in 1947, the year the country became independent, on the initiative of the then president, Ayub Khaan, a geographical entity in the central region was designated as the capital. A Greek architectural firm created the city's floor plan, but the local government was warned that these were no longer the same kind of Greeks who built the Acropolis and other beautiful things in ancient times.

Islamabad is transparent and greener than other cities in Pakistan, but it is light years away from being cozy.

The city seems to be cursed. In 2005 it was shaken by a devastating 7.6 magnitude earthquake; since 2007, there have been four severe terrorist attacks against hotels and embassies in different parts of the city. In the last two years, two fatal disasters have occurred in the mountains near the town. Plus, Bin Laden hid almost next door for many years. (2012)

Nowadays

Although Islamabad is better structured and greener than other cities in Pakistan, still has somehow less authenticity than - let's say - Karachi. The city seems cursed, shaken by a devastating 7.6 earthquake in 2005, four major terrorist attacks on hotels and embassies in various parts of the city since 2007, and two major airplane disasters in the mountains near the city in the last two years. , And Bin Laden has been hiding almost next door for many years.

Islamabad - Blue area - Ata photo

Islamabad - kind of low middle class area - Ata photo

People

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Iszlamabad - cobbler - Ata photo

Islamabad - patriotic guitarist - Ata photo

Islamabad - school boys - Ata photo

Islamabad - young locals - Ata photo

Tourist etiquette

1. Photography of military or police installations is strictly forbidden. If you want to take a photo of anyone in uniform elsewhere, ask permission.

2. The locals are very hospitable and often invite tourists to their homes. It is not appropriate to refuse this, but you should politely ask that the visit does not cause them any discomfort.

Gastronomy

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Islamabad - Roti (Pakistani bread) in preparation - Ata photo

Islamabad - kneaded roti dough - Ata photo

Islamabad - kitchen - Ata photo

Islamabad - pressing to make sugarcane juice - Ata photo

Attractions

Faisal Mosque

"The sixth largest mosque in the Muslim world was built ten years. Its dimensions are impressive. The four 90-meter-high towers of the Faisal Masjid, which can accommodate 300,000 worshipers, can be seen everywhere in the city. It was named after the late Saudi ruler because he donated 28 million dollars to the city in 1976 to make it a worthy house of worship for the capital's Sunni community.
    
The mosque brings to life a Bedouin tent. The building, designed by the Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay, is a true modern architectural masterpiece and a modern symbol of Islamabad.

 Until 1993, the Faisal Mosque was the largest mosque in the world, but since then, five larger ones have been built, all in Saudi Arabia.
  Its location is beautiful. It was built at the highest point of the capital, in front of the very first ranges of the Himalayan mountain.
 As often elsewhere in Pakistan, some locals were happy to take selfies with me and add so an exclusive experience to their religious obligation. (Ata, 2022)


Islamabad - Faisal Mosque - Ata photo

Islamabad - Faisal Mosque - Ata photo

Islamabad - Faisal Mosque - Ata photo

Islamabad - Chandelier in Faisal Mosque - Ata photo

Islamabad - Faisal Masjid by night - Ata photo

Pakistan Museum

, In the National Museum in Karachi, I didn't have the feeling that I got a complete picture of the history and culture of Pakistan. But I did it here in Islamabad when visiting the Pakistan Monument, built in a beautiful natural environment.

Here I was able to efficiently  learn about the top historical figures of the Pakistanis:

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan - the nation's unifier - created the Urdu language through which the Muslims of British India spoke a common language.

Iqbal - the dreamer of Pakistan - first stated in 1931 that an independent Muslim state was necessary, and he spread the theory of two countries - Hindi India, and Muslim Pakistan.

Jinnah - The creator of the nation - created independent Pakistan with a clever trick and negotiations - but this came at a huge price. Because the borders were not religious borders. 3.5 million Hindus and Sikhs had to find new homes in India and 5 million Muslim refugees arrived in Pakistan.

Liaquat Ali Khan - the nation's martyr - the country's first prime minister whom Jinnah left here in the chaotic situation he caused. Separatists shot the politician at a rally in Rawalpindi in 1951

The museum provides an interactive picture of history with very informative wax figures from the Islamic conquest of 711 to the present day. Visitors are reminded that most of the country used to be Buddhist during the Gandhara period.

The monument is at a hill's highest point and symbolizes an opening shell that depicts events from the country's life. The most beautiful view of the entire city opens from here. (Ata, 2022)

(Ata, 2022)




Islamabad - Pakistan Museum - Ata photo

Blue area

The business and administrative downtown of Islamabad is called the Blue Area, i.e., the Blue Quarter.
Here are the most prestigious shops, the stock exchange, the headquarters of Pakistan's commercial banks, and, of course, the government quarter: the parliament, the senate, the supreme court, the prime minister's office, the central bank, and the ministries.
Most buildings in the government quarter are not accessible, and you can't even take photos of them. However, I managed to take a few pictures slyly. 🙂 (Ata, 2022)

Islamabad - Blue area - Ata photo

Islamabad - Blue area - Ata photo

Islamabad - Blue area -sector F - Ata photo

Islamabad - Blue area - Ata photo

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