Saturday, February 12, 2011


By Mahtab Bashir

Valentines Day is just around the corner and so is the Spring. It is that time of the year in which love is in the air. Couples around the Federal Capital shall be celebrating Valentines Day in their own special way on 14th of February. However, there are a few places in and around the city that are worth checking out. Daily Times highlights places that have been popular over the years, some that are new additions to the city scene, and few that are yet to be explored.

Though country is gripped with the uncanny hands of extremists and radical forces looming threats to such activities yet love needs no restrictions- as per lovers.

It is not quite surprised with the preparations, sales and the crowds that were all geared towards this event. The whole of Islamabad's Super Market (F-6), Jinnah Super Market (F-7) and F-10 Markaz seem to be celebrating it in full swing. The Illusions gift and CD/DVD store shown above had changed the whole theme of the store to that of red hearts. The store's lighting was a shade of pink and giant hearts dotted the floor outside. Most restaurants and bookstores had also made similar adjustments to their look and feel.

The rear side of Rawal Dam situated at Murree Road lead to Rawal Lake, and Lotus Lake at the foothills of Shakarparian- both lead the way through a vista of falling leaves of tree are those unknown spots for most couples in the city. It can be amazingly romantic during afternoons again and just sitting under a tree beside the lake can be quite an experience. The best part about these places are that people don't bug you much, although there may be a few looks from curious onlookers, so cool it down a bit. Looking towards Murree Hills is also a great spot to go for a drive, it's one of the best places to celebrate the occasion but not usually in solitude.

Recently developed by CDA, Lake View Park is all set to become a very popular hang-out during Valentines day. The place brings a new experience to all Islamabad dwellers and couples from around the city visit it everyday. Rawal Lake was always a popular place for couples, and the Park brings a new touch to the lake. The idea of drifting down the water in a paddle-boat seems distinctly romantic for couples. The best time to visit the place is when the spot is under the twilight Zone.

The restaurants, café, hotels and guest rooms may be a stereotyped dating places, all around the cities but we still say few of restaurants at Margalla Road are worth visiting on Valentines day. The atmosphere definitely suits the love-is-in-the-air occasion and offers a nice place to talk to your loved one. We are almost certain that the place shall be flooded with couples on the 14th, but we also think that if you have issues that need to be sorted out, these are spots to be.

Tonga Ride at Saidpur Village can also be a nice way to spend some time together. Although one may have to face a bit of fright from being spotted by elders, Tonga ride is always pleasant and so is the atmosphere at Saidpur Village, that has emerged as an hot picnic spot over the few years. Visiting the village means spending time at modern and village at a time that may be quite pleasant, however try to abstain from crowded spots.

Islamabad’s new found high skyline, has created new places for couples to date. Many love-birds date on the roof of restaurants, and cafes located in Blue area and almost every downtown plazas of the city. Sometimes this gets quite risky. However, risks are always enjoyable!

Different outlets of Ice Cream parlours in various sectors are also nice places to date at times. We also presume that these branches shall be filled with people. We also think that it is not the best season for ice cream, but do try out the coffee.

Love stuck valentines visit the College and University campuses as well. There is nothing much to do in the campus but to sit around, exchange of romantic words and gifts, a quick refreshment at campus cafeteria can also be enjoyable experience.

Fatima Jinnah Park (F-9) has its fair share of mushy valentine's couples every year. This park is said to be the most popular place amongst lovers from all parts of the city. The eating outlets and the greenery must have something to do with all of this. Couples from different walks of life sit and chat here in each other's arms with no idea of the time.

Taking a drive out of the city on Valentines Day is definitely a great way to spend the occasion. Amongst all the places to go, Bhurban and Nathia Gali seem to be the best options. Bhurban can be quite romantic during the afternoon and the drive there can be a great way to spend some time together with a loved one.

Besides these, Shakarparian Hills, Damn-e-Koh/ Pir Sohawa, Pakistan Monuments, Margalla Hills Tracks, Visit of Zoo, Lok Virsa, Saidpur Village, Shahdara point, Chattar Park, and even Faisal Mosque is one of the favourite spots for lovebirds to celebrate the V-day.

Although there may be many other ways in which the love-struck community celebrates Valentine’s Day, Daily Times hopes that these places may suit your wants. However, wherever you may spend your time, remember that it's the ‘spirit of the occasion’ that is the most important.

No comments: