My good friend Zok recently was looking through his hard drive and came up with these pictures; some of them have a story associated with them, and some are just gorgeous enough that I cannot help but share them. The one above is a great example; There are a lot of mountains, all of which offer breathtaking views, but this one is special, in that it symbolizes the end of a multi-year drought. Afghanistan depends on snow melt for most of it’s water needs. So much so, that there is a saying: “Afghanistan can do without gold, but it cannot do without snow. We were delighted last winter to wake up and see this amazing white bounty, after a couple years of little to no snowfall.
I know for most people reading this blog the snow is perhaps a welcome respite from the heat of summer. This is a picture of my running path. When I was in the Kabul area, I would try to run this path at least once a week, year around. Looking at the picture, I realize how insane that really was, especially when snow and ice covered the road, or when the temperatures soared in the summer time. But I have become somewhat of a fitness nut in recent years; losing 80 pounds in 2007 and managing to keep it off. When the weather was most miserable, I would look up this trail and tell myself that turning back was giving up, and I was too stubborn to quit. There is a point in one’s life where achieving goals become of supreme importance, and running that hill once a week became one of mine.
Sunsets are not only pretty, but this is the exact sunset that King Amanullah replicated in his royal emblem back in 1919, after the British were finally defeated and removed from Afghanistan, permanently. Amazingly, this sunset was taken from exactly the spot where King Amanullah modeled his royal emblem, near the site of his palace.
As if by cue, this is the spot the sunset was taken from; the gardens at the base of Amanullah’s palace, known as “Taj Beg”.
The view to the north from Taj Beg palace ruins.
I hope you enjoyed these pictures. Zok is a great photographer and a good friend. I know he has a hard drive packed full of them, so if I’m nice, he will cut more loose when he finds the time.