Midwinter city breaks in all the wrong places: Afghanistan

Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque and Shrine of Hazrat Ali, Mazar-i-Sharif.

So this episode takes place back in February, when I was tangled up in the forest of red tape and consular interviews and demands for parental and spousal permission that accompanies any attempt to gain travel documents for Central Asian countries. In this bureaucracy-befuddled state, a minibreak sounded just the ticket, and location-wise the fact that you could get the relevant travel documents in a couple of hours with no questions asked was all a country needed to recommend itself to me. Uzbekistan has only one neighbour which is so enthusiastic about handing out visas, and so it was that within a couple of days of hatching this brilliant plan I found myself eyeing the Uzbek-Afghan border post with a vague sense of apprehension and wishing that I would think my decisions through a bit more thoroughly sometimes.

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