world map

Pakistan

The toughest border in the world

date of entry 14/10/2005
mileage 506,253

capital Islamabad

area 880.254 km²

population 182,6 M.

GDP 210,5 Bill. US-Dollar

official language Urdu/English

Christine and Gunther had to change their plans several times on their two trips through Pakistan. In 2005, they had crossed the notorious Khyber pass from Afghanistan and wanted to continue along the Karakoram Highway to the Chinese border. But there had been a major earthquake, and the mountain regions were an impassable disaster area. They visited the capital, Islamabad, and Lahore before continuing to India. On their way back from India, the couple wanted to enter Iran through Quetta. But after a side trip to the port of Gwadar, they were ordered to travel with a police escort, their Iranian visas were cancelled, and Otto left the country in a container thanks to a mountain of red tape.
  • … as did the operator of this bus.
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  • Otto crossed the notorious Khyber pass from Afghanistan to Pakistan
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  • Christine and Gunther originally planned to travel from Islamabad along the famous Karakoram Highway to China. But the highway was blocked by a landslide, and they had to rearrange their plans.
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  • They continued to India via Lahore, crossing what Gunther describes as the toughest border in the world.
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  • Indian and Pakistani vehicles are not allowed to cross the frontier. All goods must therefore be transported by porters.
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  • Fortunately, Otto was declared a "neutral" vehicle and allowed to cross.
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  • In Lahore, the Holtorfs visited the Badshahi mosque, one of the biggest in the world. There is a large open area outside…
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  • … and plenty of space for praying inside.
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  • The Holtorfs immersed themselves in the chaos of the city
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  • This man is operating a bureau de change in the street…
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  • … while these two boys attempt to sell a mountain of shoes.
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  • This stall is selling a wide variety of oriental spices and fruit.
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  • Gunther always tried to stay below the radar by ensuring that Otto was as inconspicuous as possible. The owner of this truck clearly had a different strategy…
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  • Video: Pakistan: Otto discovers a secret harbour