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Peshawar - The Grand Trunk Road
The Grand Trunk Road is the legendary axis, which connects the high mountains of the Hindukush in the West with the Bay of Bengal in the East for more than two millennia. Peshawar sits strategically on the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, the only really navigable way into Afghanistan. The trip down from Kabul took me some days, as the road was partially damaged and dangerous. Hitching was the only option I had. Once in Pakistan I felt like coming home. The barren arid landscape changed to fertile green and the guns in the hands of the people slowly disappeared. My base in Peshawar was the Rose Hotel - despite the name no place of luxury with hard beds and cold showers. However the hotel was located direct in the Khyber Basaar area, the bustling heart of the city. Thousands of trucks, rickshaws, buses and donkey charts filled the streets. Around the corner were some shashlik stands where I washed down the tender meat with ice cold sugar cane juice. When walking through the narrow streets, tea boys were whirling from shop to shop, while donkey carts were waiting for cargo from shoppers. Everything available was transported as ever on the Grand Trunk Road. The road was known by the British colonialist as the „Long Walk“ and it was a matching term: it is long, dusty and hot and this was exactly what I had to expect the upcoming weeks.