HUNZA, GILGIT-BALTISTAN, PAKISTAN
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Hunza - The Northern Mountains
The first trip outside of Europe and the known world brought me with the age of 18 years to Pakistan. A country which made my mind with great markets, ancient Mughal cities and of course the glorious mountains of the Karakoram and Hindukush. Arriving in the chaos of Karachi - the 15 million people plus gateway to Pakistan - taught me to sharpen our eyes for the beautiful, something which was not necessary in the northern mountains. Living on a budget of around $1-2 a day I was pitching my tent at palaces with amazing views over the Indus valley, was crossing rushing rivers on rope bridges and was hitchhiking my way down the famous Karakoram Highway. Northern Pakistan inspired me to see the world. After nearly 20 years I returned to Hunza Valley and I was quiet nervous if the reality could life up to my wonderful imaginations of my first trip. And certainly it could: actually this broad fertile valley surpassed my imagination I had. The people were even more friendly, the slow-moving village life more relaxing and the mountains even more stunning than expected. Nowadays Pakistan is a rarely visited country as bad media coverage keeps even the bravest travelers away. Its a shame, as the Northern Areas are safe as ever. When I was sitting at 4 a.m. at Duiker rock with the Hunza valley below my feet and the Rakaposhi in the bright light of the full moon I was at the age of 18 again with thousand of miles to travel in front of me. What a wonderful dawn.