Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A lone Georgian woman's travelogue of one of most dangerous countries on earth: Pakistan

Mail Online is one of my favourite reading sites on Internet and I share many news and posts in my blogs. Today while going through some of the older posts, I stopped in my tracks about a post Katie Amey who wrote about the travel adventure of a lone 29 years old Georgian photographer who chose to visit Pakistan despite caution and apprehensions of her family and friends.

The story is about Teo Jioshvili, from Tbilisi in Georgia, who travelled to the perilous country of Pakistan ALONE in 2014 and visited the historic city of Lahore - often labeled as the showcase of Mogul architecture.
 Children in particular fascinated Jioshvili - such as this street girl
Children going to school

The intrepid traveller, who aspires to be a travel photographer, first got the idea to visit after a trip to Iran. 'When I was in Iran, I met amazing people from Australia who crossed Pakistan - and one of my Georgian traveller friends had also travelled there,' she tells Mail Online Travel. 'Their stories inspired me.'
A street painter

Her travel experience are both interesting and much revealing about the hospitality and warmth of the people of Lahore and of a country where travellers are cautioned not to visit by their governments. Although the country is plagued by the menace of terrorism, it does not mean that Taliban or the terrorists roam in the cities of Pakistan with weapons slung on their shoulder and killing every foreigner in sight. Perhaps it was for this misconception that Miss Jioshvili was warned of her Pakistan adventure.

But she has fond memories of her visit to Pakistan.

'I was often stopped on the streets and in Bazaars someone would ask me to take a picture of him or her with me,' she says. If ever any men asked to take a photo with her, they were always extremely respectful. Infact if there was another male (another traveler or guide) with me, they would ask him for the permission to take a photo with me. I think that was a really beautiful sign of appreciation.' Most of the time, people would just give me an apple or an orange. That was just very sweet.' 
Jioshvili aith a group of young Pakistanis

She was taken to a wedding party on her very first night in Lahore by a German tourist staying in her hotel. The wedding was 'wedding party was just an incredible experience with its music, traditions, smiling and curious faces, women in colourful dresses. I am just very happy that I said "yes" to that girl,' says she. 

The eyes captivated Jioshvili

 Jioshvili enjoyed photographing the women and children of the city - in particular, their eyes - something that is very captivating and adorable.
 Jioshvili with her German friend and the groom
The bride's colourful bridal dress with Hina on her hands

She admired the architecture of Lahore, specially the Badshahi Mosque (The Royal Masjid) which according her is just one of the most impressive heritage sites that I've ever visited.
 An exotic wall of Lahore Fort with miniature paintings
Jioshvili with a children in the courtyard of the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore

Summing up her visit to Lahore, Jioshvili says: 'I did not expect that it would be so easy to get around Lahore. People were so generous and friendly that I was really impressed. Lahore is a huge city, but I was never lost and I always knew if I got lost that someone would definitely help me, which is a very important feeling especially when you are a lone female traveller.
Break time for a shopkeeper selling spices

Have you ever been to Lahore? Do share your expereinces - and if not, do visit it whenever you intend visiting South East Asia, for Lahore and its hearty and hospitable will always reside in your memory forever.

Read the complete post at Daily Mail
To see more of Teo's pictures visit
Read more about Lahore at Pakistanpaedia

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