Visit to ICTP

I arrived in Trieste on a chilly Monday morning. I was in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the day before. I didn’t know how to get the bus ticket, so a friendly local shared his ticket with me to get to ICTP.

ICTP, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, is named after Dr. Abdus Salam who was a Pakistani physicist awarded the Nobel prize in 1961 for his contribution to Physics. For me this place was of great significance as the school’s founder, Abdus Salam, belonged to the same region in Pakistan where I grew up. His figure was an inspiration to everyone in our community.

Trieste is located in the Eastern part of Italy, close to the Slovenian border. Right next to the ICTP campus there is the famous Miramare castle, on the bank of the Mediterranean sea. The campus is lush green and full of wildlife.

ICTP campus from outside.

I had informed the library staff that I would be visiting so they could give me a tour of the place. Right at the entrace there were some plaques of Abdus Salam and his peers.

Paolo Budinich was one of his peers who had helped in the creation of this school.

I then did a tour of the entire building, going through classrooms, etc.

I couldn’t make sense of these two (probably a joke among physicists).

ICTP cafeteria where I had lunch.

Finally I visited the library. I spent most of my day here going through his old speeches and writings. These were only accessible from within the ICTP network.

The library staff had preserved his belongings with great care. It included a room with Abdus Salam’s personal collection of books, awards, publications, letters people sent after his death, etc.

Around 10 PM, as I was about to head out, I surprisingly ran into the school’s director, Dr. Fernando Quevedo. He was inspecting the main auditorium with his wife before heading out. I introduced myself and told him where I was from. He said Abdus Salam was a great man and we had a chat for few minutes. Before leaving he gave me one of his documentaries.

Some more pictures of the library…


I visited Georgia in December 2019 when I returning home to Pakistan. This trip took me around 2 months and I travelled all by road, passing through Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Iran.

In Georgia I only stayed for 3 days. I spent the first night in Batumi, which is close to the border with Turkey.

I arrived in late afternoon and first bought a SIM card (name?) and then headed straight to my Airbnb.

The owner of the house was a very kind old lady who offered me tea and nice litte snacks. During the night there were lots of fireworks but I didn’t take any pictures.

The next day I visited two museums. The first was an archaeological museum which showcased numerous artifacts.

Afterwards I wanted to visited another cultural museum but it was very far off. Although there is public transport in Batumi it was difficult to understand which one to take, but I finally managed in the end.

I spent around an hour(?) exploring this place and then headed back into the city.

On my way back I was through some road-side market to see how the city outskirts looked like.

The city center of Batumi is very well-maintained and charming.

Right next to the seaside there is a monument call Eva and Abe(?).

Georgia has amazing and unique-looking breads! From what I noticed most breakmakers in the region were Jewish, so it could be a family-run business.

The day after I left for Kutaisi located X kilometers from Batumi. Since this was the first newyear day all trains were free, no matter the destination!

Although the train I took to Kutaisi was old, I saw this new modern looking train which was headed for Tbilisi.

Kutaisi is a historical city and I had planned to visit lots of museums there, but sadly they were all closed due to the new year.

Instead I walked around in the city, but there wasn’t a lot to see.

I found there was an old monastery atop a hill about X kms from the city, so I booked a taxi and went there.

This made my trip completely worth it. This monestary was build in X AD and was exremtely well preserved.

It overlooked the city from the top.

Ski Resorts in France

Le Grand-Bornand

On an early Saturday morning (around 6 AM), I mounted all my Ski equipment on my bike and biked towards CERN to catch the bus. This was my first time skiing and it proved to be quite challenging.

Once we arrived at the resort we had to put our Ski boots on which was quite difficult as the ground was very slippery due to the snow.

This Ski resort was stunning!

It was mesmerizing to see how extensive the cable network was.

This board showed the current status of available pistes in the region. The red color indicated a risk of avalanche, so it was forbidden to ski there.


Man skiing with his dog (because why not?).

This unique type of lift required fitting a metal bar between your legs which then dragged the person up the slope. For beginners this was very challenging as a slight imbalance of weight could make you flip over.

This machine is used for producing artificial snow (all too common nowadays because of climate change).

Saint Gervais

This resort was tremendously vast and beautiful.

I found this fascinating calculator in a nearby restaurant. (Notice the huge “Plus” button on the left.)

Les Contamines

This open lift is a bit terrifying for beginners (most people fall down on their first try).


This was yet another vast ski resort with an on-site hotel (the maze-like building below).

It was actively snowing when we arrived so the visibility wasn’t very good.

Because of the poor weather we had an early lunch inside this amazing wooden hut. It was packed with antiques and old photos of the resort.

This photos shows a person skiing behind a scooter in Paris.

La Clusaz

This was perhaps the best resort I visited. The weather was superb and the pistes were wide open.

Middle East from Above

I took these photos while travelling from Pakistan to Switzerland. I flew through Emirates and had to change my flight at Dubai (this allowed me to take some closeups of the metropolis).

The flight route included these countries:


Murree - Nathia Gali

This trip included a visit to the Lalazar / Ayubya National Park in Nathia Gali. It is located about 30 KMs away from the beautiful city of Murree. On our way to Nathia Gali it was very cloudy.