Countries often get boxed in, clichéd simply into something that might be true (or not, in some cases), but also doesn't come close to doing justice to what things are really like. One such country, without doubt, is Afghanistan. Ask an average member of the public, and there's no doubt that they think of war, of derelict cities bombed to the ground and Taliban hide outs well before thinking about culture or landscape. What's often forgotten - at least as more than a brief aside to war reports filed with major new agencies, where it's simply stated how difficult the ground is for soldiers - is that Afghanistan is a genuinely stunning location in its own right.
While you might be hesitant to stroll into Kabul and set about looking for a hostel for a few nights (and rightly so, we'd suggest), you can still enjoy a few of the highlights by soaking up the video below, produced by an aid worker who spent a couple of years in Afghanistan back in '06 to '08, presumably with plenty of protection along for the ride. They show a little bit of the lifestyle, as well as a selection of the truly stunning, snow-capped mountain scenes. Afghanistan's highest peak, Hindu Kush, rises to as near as makes no difference 7500 metres, just 1300 metres short of Everest’s summit. Given the views on offer in the video, perhaps one day we can hope to walk the paths of mountainous Afghanistan with the same happy abandon as the foothills of the Himalayas: