God has blessed Pakistan with great natural beauty and charms. The changing topography, the parched Thar desert, the lush green plains and fields, the hilly tracks, the snow-covered mountains, the murmuring and roaring rivers, the verdurous valleys, the changing natural scenes and sounds offer great variety to the visitors. The Northern areas are full of natural bounties.
Thousands of foreign tourists are attracted to see and survey the Pakland. They stay in first-class hotels, restaurants and motels. Most of their time is spent in sightseeing, hiking, climbing, tracking and natural survey and photography. It is strange that we Pakistanis do not enjoy these charms or miss them. It all requires money.
For Karachi cities living on the sea-shore, a visit to a hill station is a great change full of charms. Last year the summer was very hot. During June, the weather was sultry; the days, closed. Therefore we decided the spend some days with our brother at Abbotabad. It was a pleasant change. It is big tourist centre with roads leading to Balakot, Swat; Kaghan, Narayan, and Saiful Mulk.
Murry, Ayubia, and Kalabagh are nearest hill stations to Abbottabad. The first two are generally overcrowded. So we decided to visit Kalabagh. Being Airforce Base, it is calm and quiet. It is on route to Nathia Gali, Ayubia and Murree. Buses and Minies ply on the route. We reached the place by bus. The Airforce Base is on height. My brother being an army officer, got a two-room quarter reserved in advance. It was situated on lower terrace overlooking a deep ditch overgrown with trees. We had to carry up the belongings by yourself.
We stayed there for three days full of enjoyments and delight. There were dense forests on all sides. Kalabagh is famous for its birds repository. I was marveled to see strange, colorful birds. On the right side of the route was a small village with shops, Hill Park Resturant and hotel. We ordered for lunch and supper from the different hotels. The breakfast was served from the Officer’s Mess.
I am fond of hiking. One day I went deep into the forests with my younger brother, after breakfast. The majestic tall trees, the overgrowing creepers, winding path and cool springs attracted our attention. We took several Photographs. During the visit, we came across some camps of foreign visitors, men. and women. Next morning I visited Nathia Gali; climbed up the hill-top park. I especially relished fried chicken at the Guest Resturant.
The weather was ideal. The days were cool, and nights, a bit chilly. I collected some unique evergreen plants and creepers for our small nursery. Before returning, I purchased some handicraft showpieces, walnut carved boxes and typical head wears. I enjoyed the visit though short.