On arrival in Kabul you will be taken to Afghan Logistics & Tours Pvt.Co.Ltd Guest House. We spend the afternoon resting or exploring some of the sites of this fascinating city. Since the recent war and the fall of the Taliban there has been substantial investment in this unique city but many of the old interesting areas including the Kabul Museum, Old Palace, Babur Shah’s Garden / Palace, Birds Market known as one of the oldest streets/ Markets in Kabul, Abdul Rahman Khan’s Mausoleum, King Zahar’s Shah’s, and His father Tombs, Omer Land Mind Museum, TV Towers Mountain where you can have a great view of Kabul City, the curiosity shops of Chicken Street and the ruined Bala Hasar fort remain, and many more. ( overnight at Afghan Logistics & Tours Pvt.Ltd Guest House)
On arrival at Herat at approx 1100 hrs, we will transfer to our guesthouse and have lunch. We suggest spending the afternoon on an orientation tour including the Citadel (Qala-I-Ikhtiyaruddin). Once it cools down and the light becomes better, we make a late afternoon visit to the Friday Mosque (Masjid-I-Jami). This is one of the finest examples of Ghorid and Timurid tiling to be found anywhere in the world – arguably the most stunning mosque in the world, though the inhabitants of Mazar-I-Sharif and Samarqand might disagree. There is an opportunity to see a famous 14th Century bronze cauldron, alleged to be Tamurlane’s sherbet bowl, in the courtyard. You will also be able to see the tile factory, which claims to be the oldest in the world and probably dates back to the 12th century, where tiles are still made in the traditional manner. (Overnight Nazary Hotel in Guest House)
For the early risers, there will be a visit to the old town to explore the bazaar. The rest of the morning will be spent visiting the 15th century Musalla complex that includes the Minarets of Gohar Shad and her Mausoleum. Gohar Shad was the wife of Shah Rukh, son of Tamurlane. Herat is a great place to go carpet shopping. There are opportunities to purchase both new and antique carpets from a number of different establishments including a large building filled entirely by carpet sellers. For most Afghans, carpets are a major purchase; equivalent to a westerner buying a car and the negotiation may take a number of visits. In the late afternoon we will visit the tomb of the two princes, Qasim and Abdullah (Shazar Dahar) followed by a picnic dinner at Gazagah. (Overnight Nazary Hotel Guest House)
For the keen photographers, we recommend an early morning visit to the Friday Mosque before a midday flight to Kabul. On arrival in Kabul we will return to the Kabul Lodge Guesthouse. In the afternoon we will visit the Sandy Gall Afghanistan Appeal centre. (Overnight Hotel)
Kabul This morning we will be up at first light drive to the Panjshir Valley, the legendary stronghold of Commander Amhed Shah Massoood. When Afghanistan was on the tourist trail, Panishir’s proximity to Kabul combined with its astonishing natural beauty made it most people’s first destination in the country. It was also conveniently accessed from Pakistan by journalists covering the Russian and Taliban wars when its geographical situation, and the brilliance of its mujihadeen commander, the great Ahmed Shah Massoud, made it unconquerable. Massoud defeated the Russians here fifteen times, and so comprehensively that they stopped trying to capture it. Most of the television footage of the war shown in the West was shot here. The river has a narrow and extremely fertile flood plain and is famous for its fruit. However the sides are steep mountains, which is why it is so defensible. In the spring, watered by the melting snow these mountainsides are dark green giving an impression of overwhelming fertility. We will visit Massoud’s grave and his headquarters return back to Kabul in the afternoon
KabulThe village of Istalif is located north of Kabulin the Shomali Plain. The houses are perched on a hill-side overlooking the Plain with a beautiful view onto the Hindu Kush. In spring, the road leading up to it is lined with bushes in purple bloom. Istalif has been famous for its pottery and grapes were grown here before the taliban, before the religious students invaded the village, destroyed most of the buildings and dug up the vines.The village has been re-built since and the potters have resumed their work. Istalif pottery is frequently turquoise and spatter-glazed and thus instantly recognizable. After browsing through the shops we cantake a walk down a Cypress-lined road andhave a picnic in the garden below the village
Day 07: Fly Kabul to …………………….