I am a Canadian who visited Afghanistan in July 1975.
I was doing a world tour. I travelled overland from India to Europe when
this was still possible. Afterwards, several invasion, revolutions and bombing campaigns
have changed in this part of the world.
I arrived as a passenger on a local bus travelling up the Khyber Pass from
Pakistan. After enjoying the modest comforts of Kabul I headed
north to Bamiyan. This isolated spot in the Hindu Kush has a massive cliff
face riddled with ancient caves of Buddhist monks. Among these were two
immense standing Buddha statues. One was 50 metres tall. The faces
were removed in quite ancient times by an Islamic campaign against
I was guided up through the complex of caves and tunnels until we emerged
at the statue top. I took a photo of the lush valley below and promised to
return one day for a longer visit. But that will unfortunately never be.
Please visit the newer and more complete afghan.asp version of this page.
From Bamiyan I travelled in a truck/bus to the mountain
lakes of Band-i-Amir. They are situated high in the Hindu Kush mountains at more
than 2500 metres elevation.
This includes a morning view looking down the river valley from the lowest lake.
There are five lakes and natural dams in the chain:
Band-i-Khamar, Band-i-Gulaman, Band-i-Aibat, Band-i-Panir and
My old Fodor's Islamic Asia book says that
"Band-i-Amir holds its place among the wonders of the world. The
most famous things often fail to move; Band-i-Amir is above matters of
taste, it is beauty itself."