Traveling in Afghanistan can be done; but it required a lot of courage to enter the country known for Taliban and war. I had to defy strict travel warnings and had to take a deep breath before I crossed the border. As solo female traveler, I crossed the border from Turkmenistan into Afghanistan as a part of my eight-month journey along the ancient trade route of the Silk Road. I visited the Afghan Silk Road cities of Herat, Balkh and Masar e-Sharif.
The bustling city of Herat seemed like a wild chaos of colorful people, women wearing blue burqa, miserable houses, bumpy and dirty roads, old bumped cars, overloaded motorbikes, and brightly colored tuk-tuks. Herat is Afghanistan's third largest city, yet it seemed like nothing more than an overgrown village, as very few buildings are more than two-stories high. Instead of Western pompous supermarkets, you see smiling street vendors and small workshops where tires and tin cans creatively are turned into sandals, buckets and boxes.
Afghanistan has some of the most beautiful mountain scenery, a thousand year long history, and an ancient culture with beautiful old Islamic architecture and historic sites. There are so much more to Afghanistan than the bad news we hear in the media about wars, roadside bombs, and the Taliban regime. In two weeks, Afghanistan became one of the places in the world that has made the greatest impression on me as a world traveler. Traveling here gave me the personal challenge and adventure that you will never find in places like Rome or Paris. Not because of all the wars, poverty and misery, but because of the Afghan hospitality and almost euphoria shown by just meeting you.
By Lene Kohlhoff Rasmussen from Denmark in Afghanistan.
Check out Lene's 11 stunning photos fom Afghanistan. #BeCurious
1. My first glimpse of Afghanistan, the Wakhan Corridor.
2. A real life kite runner in Mazar-e-Sharif.
3. The third largets city in Afghanistan, Herat.
4. The streets of Herat.
5. Shrine of Hazrat in Mazar-e-Sharif.
6. A store in Herat.
7. Family feeding the doves in Mazar-e-Sharif.
8. Country side Afghanistan.
9. Big smiles everywhere you go.
10. Bikers in Mazar-e-Sharif.
11. The warm welcome I was met with everywhere.