I don’t travel a lot, but the best trip is when we go to Bamiyan province for a vacation. 

I have been there three times and the last time I went with my family to Band-e-Amir, a famous place in the mountains with very blue lakes and lots of trees. The sky is bluer than in Kabul or anywhere else and the sun shines brighter there. 

But oh, the road to get to Bamiyan from Kabul is very bumpy. It takes a long time to get there, six hours to Bamiyan. It takes four more hours to get to Band-E-Amir.  We brought our picnic basket and warm clothes because it is colder up in the mountains. We passed rivers, farmers with their donkeys, and cows grazing.

I always have a very good time being alone with nature. I hear the heartbeat of nature, and I let nature hear my heartbeat as well. I can feel what nature is saying. I speak to it and I feel I can make my desires fly.  

While in Band-e-Amir I felt I was sharing my sorrow with the sea and the trees were singing songs of nature.   

The nights in Bamiyan are wonderful. I love the nights of Band-e-Amir because the stars are very bright and there is no electricity.   

Bamiyan is famous for the statues of Buddha that show the ancient culture of the people who lived there thousands of years ago. Buddha is wonderful. Even though much of it was destroyed by the Taliban, it remains great. My family and I went on the top. You have to take a guide with you because it is dangerous to go alone, and from the top you can see parts of Bamiyan. 

I love to remind myself of the days in Band-e-Amir, and I hope I can go there next year again during the summer vacation.   

By Fatima H.

Editor’s note: Band-e-Amir, a group of six lakes located high in the Hindu Kush Mountains, was named as Afghanistan’s  first national park in 2009. The government hopes it will become a tourist destination in central Asia. By designating the land as a national park, Afghanistan can apply for international recognition of the park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.