The Panjshir Valley, & an ancient Buddhist stupa

Turquoise Mountain Foundation Compound Kabul, Afghanistan 9:04 a.m. sorry–this is a long post! Yesterday we launched on an epic adventure far from Kabul’s center of gravity and dove deep into the serious mountains of northeastern Afghanistan. We’d been looking forward since last week to our planned day trip to the Panjshir, but I had no clue…

Istalif: Into the foothills of the Hindu Kush

Turquoise Mountain Foundation Compound Kabul Afghanistan 11:06 p.m. Well, today was a fantastic trip out of Kabul, at last. We piled ten of us from Turquoise Mountain Foundation into a mini-van and rollicked across the fertile Shomali plains north of Kabul for the roughly hour and a half drive up to the town of Istalif, in…

Landing in Kabul

Turquoise Mountain Foundation Compound Kabul Afghanistan 6:30 a.m. OK, a few too many thoughts rollicking around my noggin as I awaken here on my first morning in Afghanistan. In no particular order: First, the obvious: we arrived safely on the Afghan national airline, Ariana (a/k/a “Scariana”), no worries. All is well.

The Places in Between Jaipur & Kabul

Jaipur Rajasthan 5p.m. I have just today finished reading Rory Stewart’s fascinating book The Places in Between, about his highly dubious undertaking of following the Emperor Babur’s epic trek from Herat near the border of Iran across central Afghanistan’s high mountains into Kabul, alone and in mid-winter, just a few months after the USA’s invasion of…