Herat, Western Afghanistan

In 1973 I travelled overland from Australia to the United Kingdom. I was so enthralled by what I had seen along the way that I decided to return overland. I passed through this town twice. Once in winter when snow was on the mountains and Herat looked positively stark, and on my way home in high summer (above) when it looked verdant by comparison. I think I have a picture of Herat in winter some where. I'll keep an eye out for it. Herat was a town made entirely of mud bricks. Although timber is used in construction, it is obviously a precious resource in such an arid country and is used sparingly. What you don't get in such a street scape, therefore, are large surface areas amenable to paint and colour. The result is a street of buildings of the same warm tones which just seem to have grown out of the earth itself, which, of course, they have in a way. Tragically, much of this picturesque town has been destroyed by bombing in the senseless wars that have raged through Afghanistan over the last decades.

There was no piped household water in Herat. It was carried from a communal tap in brass pots like these.

or continue the journey