Destination Guides, Travel Information & Health Advice for Travellers 55+ in Asia
Kabul once had some beautiful buildings - now nearly all destroyed after 21 years of war. This was one of the kings' palaces and used to be surrounded by lush gardens.
This was once a wealthy area of Kabul - now it is nearly deserted. Note the ISAF tank on patrol on the left of the picture.
In downtown Kabul, the streets are far from deserted with everyone trying to rebuild their lives after so many years of war.
Kabul has its rush hour too, like any other city in the world. The overhead wires used to carry trolley bus power lines, but these were all destroyed and now there are only diesel buses.
One thing that struck me in Kabul was how happy the children looked. Even in the poorer areas, where kids were living in mudbrick houses on the mountain slopes (without any electricity, water or sewerage) they always had a smile on their faces. Perhaps that is the effect of never knowing anything except war until a year or so ago.
Mudbricks are widely used for housing construction in Afghanistan.These hillside homes are typical of the ?middle-class' areas of Kabul.
Further up the mountainside, poorer families are building small mudbrick homes that look as if they would be washed away if there was a big rainstorm.
Many of the buildings around Kabul as still badly scarred with bullet holes.
The satellite dish at Radio Television Afghanistan has seen better days.
Many 'new' shopping streets have been constructed using old shipping containers.This is a butcher's shop on the left.
Another shop constructed out of shipping containers is this gas store.
Most of the people in Afghanistan still wear their traditional clothing, with both men and women covering their heads. Most of the women still wear the head-to-toe burkas with their faces completely covered behind a mesh ?window' -- even though they are no longer required to wear these following the fall of the Taliban.
Whilst wandering around on a mountain top outside of Kabul, I came across these boxes of live shells.I was told there is so much live ammunition still lying around the country, there hasn't been time yet to clean it all up.
If you are a nervous flyer, be prepared for the sight of bits of planes all around Kabul airport (most have been bombed rather than crashed though). Ariana Afghan Airways currently flies a fleet of 25-year-old 727s in exactly the same livery as these pieces of 727s littering the airport surrounds.