Travel Diaries: Bhurban and the enchanted snow

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Snowfall in Bhurban (photo credit: scribbleomaniac)

Last year I took a quick trip to Bhurban with my family. Bhurban is a small town and hill station in the Punjab province located at a height of about 6,000 feet. We didn’t have time to go for a grand tour, but we desperately needed a little expedition for a breather. I was about to begin my new job soon and it had been a nerve wrecking recruitment process really. After all that emotional drainage, I needed to step out of Karachi – my home city, which I dearly love because it is so happening and loud (except that it lacks greenery and beautification in abundance) and partly because I am way too loyal to it.

Anyway, so we took an early morning flight to Islamabad – the capital city of Pakistan. It just so happens that Islamabad serves the purpose of a stop-over for most of our local trips up north. We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant there and it totally sucked. So, we rushed to Bhurban , (which is only a 45 minute drive from Islamabad) without wasting any more time. Despite our many visits to Islamabad and up north, this was the first time that I was going to Bhurban.

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PC Bhurban – our abode for two days (photo credit: scribbleomaniac)

We lodged at Pearl Continental – (PC) Bhurban for the next two days that we spent in Bhurban. Being quite well-traveled by now (touchwood), I must add PC Bhurban was quite not up to my expectations. I am sure it must be rather lavish and quite the place when it opened up some zillion years ago, but I have a feeling they are a bit caught somewhere in time. To start off, they didn’t have clean pillows and bed sheets and the room floors were not properly cleaned/mopped daily. I never expected this from a 4 star PC chain of hotels honestly. Secondly, their staff in general was quite snobbish with an unacceptable attitude for being in the service industry. Oh and one more thing, they play this lousy music outside PC all day and all night. It’s not even soothing to the ears and it NEVER stops.

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Another click of PC Bhurban (photo credit: scribbleomaniac)

Anyway, we were kind of stuck and so we simply decided to ignore a lot of things while we were there.  We took a stroll outside and you can see some of the shots that I clicked during our walks. Bhurban is like a recreational, coffee hang-out place for people in general. People from Islamabad and near-by areas such as Murree take a little drive and drop by over the weekend only to have fun, sip some tea or coffee, click selfies and off they go by night time to their homes. PC Bhurban is open to visitors for this purpose for a meager entry fees.

On the first day, we had dinner at one of the restaurants in PC only. The food was good considering how disappointing everything else was. We relaxed in our rooms and called it an early night.

As if God understood how sad our little outing was turning out be, He gave us a surprise. The next morning, we were welcomed by this unexpected snowfall all over Bhurban. I went into the balcony and the view had changed drastically. The same place was all white and now I figured, this is what makes Bhurban so special, although we quite accidentally happened to witness this enchanting snowfall, thanks to mother-nature.

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Waking up to a snow laden Bhurban (photo credit: scribbleomaniac)

We couldn’t of course be inside our rooms after God had sent us snow. We decided to take a walk outside and man was it a great stroll or what. It’s these little adventures that make life so much more wonderful. I have to admit, I make most of my life-changing decisions in such moments. They clear my brain and allow me to see things in a different perspective. I may still struggle as a course of action, but I have never regretted my decisions amidst God’s heavenly creations. They are just too powerfully blissful.

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Whattay fun walk it was! (photo credit: scribbleomaniac)

We reached a club and walked to the local restaurant there. We literally paved our way because the snow level on the ground was almost 2 to 3 feet by then and in some places even higher. The scenery was exotic and mind boggling. We also met this sweet dog along the way who was such a lovely sight but hopefully, he reached a warmer spot to rest up as we said goodbye to him.

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The sweet encounter. My sister is ever so friendly with all the fur kids she meets. (photo credit: scribbleomaniac)

The food at the club was Pakistani to the core; freshly cooked and tasted so fine I couldn’t stop eating. I was freezing and I couldn’t take nice pictures to show you how good their food was, but trust me it was one of the finest lunches I have ever had in my life.

The next day we bid farewell to Bhurban and drove back to Islamabad. I have to admit, the snow did its magic and made my Bhurban trip so memorable, but I might really never visit PC Bhurban after my sorry experience (at least not on my expense). However, let me be honest, despite my negative review, it is the only decent place where most foreigners, corporate delegations, honeymooners and families prefer to stay while in Bhurban – and PC  Bhurban is quite well aware of the fact that they are the only available option in the market.

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The snow did its magic and made Bhurban so memorable (photo credit: scribbleomaniac)

When we came back and shared pictures of the snow-laden trees of Bhurban with our friends, they actually thought we went to Russia or some place in Europe. But, we were so proud to correct them and show-off that it is Pakistan. It is true, people have no idea how much beauty Pakistan has in store and sadly our state doesn’t do much to enhance tourism in every province. At least, through my blog I will do my bit of sharing how amazing Pakistan is.

Well that’s a wrap and I hope you enjoyed reading about my Bhurban journey as much as I loved writing about it. Please do give your feedback on how can I make things better on the blog – remember I am still a novice at this 🙂

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