Afghanistan (Summer 1970)

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In the summer of 1970, I traveled to Afghanistan with one of my brothers and a friend. We drove through part of Europe, then Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan. We entered Afghanistan from Pakistan through Khyber Pass. After visiting Northern and Central Afghanistan, we drove to Herat along the southern road through Kandahar and the Helmand desert, and then from Herat to Meshed in Iran.

 

Our car, a Renault 4L, made the long roundtrip without any serious mechanical problems, despite many bad roads and intense heat especially in the southern part of Iran.

 

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General view of Kabul

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Street scenes of Kabul

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The Unai (3300m) and Hajigak (3700m) passes along the road from Kabul to Bamyan give access to Hazarajat, home of the Hazara people, whose ′′capital′′ is Bamyian.

 

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Bamiyan, with the statues of Buddha carved in the sandstone cliff in the background.

 

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The large statue of Buddha (55m) and a smaller one.

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′′I had always expected I would see our Buddha again. But the storm of ignorance that has been raging in Afghanistan for so many decades smashed him into bits before I could return. I once lived inside his head. Now he lives in mine.′′

From ′A Fort of Nine Towers′, by Qais Akbar Omar.

 

Another view of the big statue

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Frescos near the statue′s head

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Hazara farm

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Hazara man

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Bandi-Amir lakes, one of the most beautiful lanscapes on Earth

 

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Balkh province

 

Mausoleum of Khwaja Abu Nasr-i-Parsa in Balkh

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Tashkurgan, an ancient caravan city

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Shrine to Hazarat Ali, in Mazar-i-Sharif

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Scenes from the South

 

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Minaret of the Musalla (mosque) of Gawhar Shad, near Herat

 

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Scenes from Herat

 

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Tea house

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