Today was the day that we were invited to our hotel manager but we started the day with some skiing of course. We got some really nice rides down the mountain towards Barbareshi and after this we headed out. Unfortantly I cant remember the village name but we drove past rice fields, through small villages, deep down into valleys and past high peaks. We drove passed military outposts, polices, schools, mosques and small streams which during spring will be ten times as big. Once we got a little bit lower on the mountain we saw apple farms and it was quite a view to see them stretch up the mountain sides. Both me and Martin was stunned by the beauty and this was during winter, I really cant imaging how beautiful it must be here during spring when everything is green.
We did see some not so fun stuff too, during 2005 a huge earthquake hit the area and a lot of people died and lost the houses and everything else. This was four years ago but we still see houses witch collapsed during the earthquake, sides of the mountain who have collapsed and in more or less every village we passed we saw excavators trying to build drainage channels around the villages.
Our host was one of those who lost his house in the earthquake and had to build a new one. His house is built by brick walls with some wood plank and the insulation was non existent, well they used carpets to try to keep the heat inside. This would not even be used as a garage for cars back in Sweden but here the whole family lives and even if its under harsh condition they are really happy and glad for what they have. It makes you think if our must-buy-new-stuff-all-the-time society really is the best?
After a long and nice break with talking to the whole family we took a walk in the village and ended up in the local mosque. It was really nice and even if we had some riots in the past everybody was friendly and we had a long chat with there Iman about the riots, politics in general and of course differences between Sweden and Kashmir.
Thes sun started to set and we headed home completely exhausted of todays impression. The higher up on the mountain we drove the more it snowed and just a couple of hundred meters from the hotel we were stuck, not even the snow chains helped in this case but lucky for us it was an simple walk to get back to the hotel.
“Welcome to Kashmire – Paradise on Earth”
– Kashmir´s slogan, jag instämmer