"Finally we arrive at Kabul, capital of Afghanistan. After exiting the
narrow gorge, we are a day crossing the hilly foothills to the west of Kabul.
Cultivation is apparent everywhere one looks. Orchards and small wheat fields,
irrigated by several small streams coming down the mountain side. The land is
terraced in many places, the streams trained to follow and irrigate them in
A ridge runs through Kabul from the northwest to the south east, and is
split in two by the Kabul River which here runs due east. Called Asmai heights
on the north and Sher Darwaza heights to the south, this break in the ridge is
guarded by a fortress, and here the local governor resides. Passing the
fortress, and then another smaller ridge trending east, we pass the city proper
and pitch our tents on the valley floor. To the north of Kabul lies Wazirabad
isolated by snow in winter, usually by the end of October. In winter, December
to March, Kabul is very cold, although heavy snow is not normal. The Arghandeh
Pass southwest to Kandahar is closed. The passes west to Bamian are also closed.
While travel to the east is possible, the trail is again closed before reaching
the head of the Panjshir valley. Then in spring, March through May when this
snow melts, trails are still treacherous as they must often cross streams in the
valley they follow. Summer is nice though…"
The Silk Road
© 2001, Rodney R. Baird