Friday, July 19, 2013

S2L77: Pakistan's Swat Valley

Swat Valley, Pakistan
March 20-21, 1977

Morning hike up the mountain behind the hotel.
Evening dinner and costume party.
Spent the day napping on a blanket in the yard.
Source: Personal travel notes.

From 1977 03 17 Pakistan

More after the jump.

As Kashmir is known as Heaven on Earth because of its natural beauty, Swat is known as Paradise on Earth. Its history is long. Alexander the Great came through here in 327 BCE. So, too, did Queen Elizabeth, who vacationed here with Prince Phillip in 1962. Osama bin Laden was here too, hiding out in 2002-2003 after being driven from Afghanistan by American military forces.

For me, the Swat Valley is remembered as a scenic, restful break from travel, a place to hike in the hills, nap in afternoon sun, and party like I had never heard of the Taliban (which I hadn't). More on that subject in the next installment of this travelogue.

From 1977 03 17 Pakistan

From 1977 03 17 Pakistan

From 1977 03 17 Pakistan

From 1977 03 17 Pakistan

Internet community, I need your help. Exactly where were these photos taken? Which city? Better yet, your best determination of the GPS coordinates for the hilltop photos. My personal notes don't pin it down. Try as I might, I can't match the scenes using, say, Google Earth. Please give me your best guesses.

One of a continuing series.
Start: Around the World in 800 Days
Previous: Lahore, Pakistan
Next: Partying Among the Taliban


shah saad said...

Dear, I am from swat and only knows the place of one picture. Other picture have doubts but can't pinpoint the exact place because too much time has been passed and a lot of things have been changed.
Regards Shah Saad

Mark Steger said...

Any guesses as to where the photos were taken would be much appreciated.

Unknown said...

from gira mountain,Saidu sharif is in the background.

Mark Steger said...

Thank you. I've also had someone suggest Salam Pur.

Qaisar Khan said...

What a strange coincident. The landscape you see in the third photo, If you climb the same spot today, you'd see our house. Much of those lush green fields are now populated. Its almost unrecognisable today, except the shape of that mountain, which is still the same. Second coincident is that, You are from Richardson, TX. That's where I've lived for over a year, Such a small world.

Mark Steger said...

What a happy coincidence.
1. I am still interested in knowing exactly where I stood when I took that photo. Can you pinpoint it on Google Maps? Right click on the spot and the URL will have the GPS coordinates. Cut and paste that into a comment here. I would appreciate it.
2. I would enjoy meeting you for a cup of coffee sometime. Anywhere in Richardson or north Dallas. I would like to learn what the Swat Valley is like today.