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Afghanistan

Travel Tourism Travelogue by Gregory Melle

Including Afghan photos and Taliban comments

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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 idolatry.
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.
Bamiyan Bhuddha view Bamiyan valley view from staue head Bamiyan Bhuddha view

Hindu Kush valley view Hindu Kush mountain view Hindu Kush mountains

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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.
Road to Bamiyan Hotel at Band-i-amir
This includes a morning view looking down the river valley from the lowest lake.
Bande Amir valley view Bande Amir valley view
There are five lakes and natural dams in the chain: Band-i-Khamar, Band-i-Gulaman, Band-i-Aibat, Band-i-Panir and Band-i-Pudina.
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."

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