Updated Friday Dec 15 2017
With the onset of winter, hilly areas of the country have been blanketed with white sheets of snow. Among such areas is Murree, which has started bustling with tourist activity with the recent spell of snow.
Markets and streets have come to life in Murree as people from different parts of Pakistan started thronging to the area situated in Rawalpindi district.
But the arrival of a large number of people at the same time has also given rise to issues of parking, while slippery roads have increased chances of accidents.
However, the roadblocks and dangers of slippery paths leave the mind the moment one sets their eyes on the magnificence Murree gets wrapped in when snow falls on its trees and buildings.
Hassan Ali, a tourist from Lahore, told Geo.tv he was overwhelmed to experience the spell of snow. “I had never got this opportunity,” he said. “It is a blessing to have not only a diversity in language and communities in our country, but to also have natural beauty in different regions.”
Unlike others, he faced no issue in commute as when he was travelling snowfall had stopped.
On Mall Road, the aroma of tikka karhai coming from the hotels fills the air, rising appetite of passers-by. But it is not just tikka karhai, the air also has a whiff of chapli kabab, fried fish and biryani.
People out on the streets of Murree to enjoy food in the cold, amid snow topped trees and shops, cap their meals with coffee and Kashmiri or green tea. The steam coming from machines beckons even those who do not plan on having a hot beverage.
While talking to Geo.tv a tea vendor in the area, Rehman Ali, said their business goes well in winter when snow falls. He added they get more customers on weekends.
Besides tea and food stalls, dry fruit sellers also make good money during the snow/tourist season.
Those tourists who miscalculate the weather and not carry proper winter gear, rush to the garments shop for woollen wear to cover their heads and hands under the chilling temperature.
According to the traffic police in Murree, snowfall had caused roadblocks in some spots, including Bank Road and Hall Road. However, the officials added, they highway department and the city traffic police was available 24 hours to facilitate the public. The traffic police have also acquired snow bikes.