Afghanistan certainly doesn’t rank highly on most people’s bucket lists. This wasn’t always the case. In the ’60s and ’70s Afghanistan was a key stopover on the hippie trail to India. Kabul and Kandahar, cities that conjure up images of explosions and war, were more famous for their melons than bombings (though it’s unanimously agreed that the best melons come from Kunduz).
Tourism in Afghanistan these days takes some convincing, but if there’s anything to help it along it’s videos like this. These images taken by a former aid worker show a country long known for its rugged beauty whose star has sadly dimmed. Our own Anna Brones found reasons to go when she traveled there last year. These images provide a few more.
A few nights back I was introduced to a gentleman I was told could help me. I was told he was filled with an enormous amount of information about where I am headed and where I should go. He could point out Tajikistan on a map three-times blindfolded. He had been there before. When I met him I felt intimidated at first, questioning the unbelievable amount of knowledge he had on the area. Only five weeks sit between our meeting and the time of my departure to Dushanbe. He came off a little brash, but no matter what I thought of him then, I knew, he knew his stuff. I begged him to tell me everything and told him to promise he’d send more information about Tajikistan, about anything.
I was happy to have made his acquaintance and that I had found someone with even a half-idea of the Central Asian land. Keeping his to his promise, he forwarded this link from a piece he had written for Pology, a favorite online cultural travel magazine of mine. In his story he talks about crossing borders from Afghanistan to Tajikistan and describes the border towns, places, nomads, people, and the distinctive differences between the two. Whether or not Afghanistan or Tajikistan are particularly places of high tourism interest I’m sure anyone would enjoy the piece. Forget the landmines and casual talk about pistols, just read it and soak up the realness of the people, the buildings and the Soviet decay.
Very excellent read…