BAND-E-AMIR NATIONAL PARK Band-e-Amir, Bamiyan Province Afghanistan NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan
I’ve said for years that Afghanistan has a“Tragic Beauty”…Band-e-Amir Lakes isthe Jewel of the country.
For $5.00 you can rent a paddle boat and explore the impossibly blue water of Band-e-Amir’s largest lake. You might haveto swallow some pride because the boat is going to be a brightly colored swan When your used to spending most ofyour time behind Hesco walls…the experience is “surreal”.
The lakes are formed by aseries of natural calcite dams.The many beautiful waterfallsare the run off like anoverflowing bath tub. Thesefreeze solid during the wintermaking wondrous walls of ice.The only ways to get here duringthe winter are by horse orhelicopter.
This is Afghanistan’s first National Park. Just as in the States, parents bring their families to camp and havefun. Closing your eyes and just listening to the children laugh, you could easily be anywhere else in the world.Here they are very appreciate of Westerners who they realize have helped make outings like this possible. Wewere always surrounded by people who “thanked us for coming”. The number of Afghan’s here who couldspeak English was at first surprising but then telling as to the fact that it’s only the most affluent who can affordthe time and money to visit. Vacations are very expensive for even a middle class Afghan family.
Just the drive from thetown of Bamiyan to Band-e-Amir is a mix ofawesome rugged beautyand desolation. A modernhighway is being funded byJapan and they areworking double-time oncompletion.