On the Hippie Trail: Afghanistan

girls in fromt of the mosque in Herat
Herat, West Afghanistan: girls in front of the Grand Mosque

Road map Afghanistan
Two Danish guys in a Volkswagen van offered me a ride from Mashhad (Iran, 200 kilometres from the Afghan border) all the way to Kabul.

mosque in Herat
Grand Mosque in Herat

Herat: main street
Herat: main street

Herat: countryside
Countryside near Herat

Caravan in Kandahar

Kandahar: turbans and burqa

Inside an Afghan café


Hindu Kush
Flying over the Hindu Kush to Bamiyan

The Twin Otter of Bakhtar Afghan Airlines on the Bamiyan landing strip. The plane is reported to have crashed in 1973.

Bamiyan valley at dawn. Several caves holding gigantic Buddha statues, two of which are clearly visible on this picture. They were carved in the sandstone cliff more than 1500 years ago. The site, on the legendary Silk Road, was then a great centre of Greco-Buddhist culture. Bamiyan valley is situated 230 km northwest of Kabul at an altitude of 2500 metres.

The cave with the tallest Buddha statue (near the centre of this picture) is over 55 metres high.

BuddhaBuddha closeup
The tallest Buddha from nearby. Many centuries ago, it's face was erased by islamic invaders. In 2001, the Taliban finished the job: they destroyed the Buddha statues with artillery and explosives.

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© Hans Roodenburg (The Netherlands), 2006

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