First visit: October 2003
Subsequent visits: February 2013.
Places visited: Kabul, Herat.
Poor Afghanistan, tortured over the years, invaded but never really conquered, offers a wonderful opportunity for the hardened traveller to broaden his horizons. I was lucky enough to make it in 2003 when there was a lull in terrorism activities there. I was shaking as the plane landed and I saw gunmen on the tarmac looking out for terrorists. I was lucky though, found a young guide (who claimed he worked for the Tourism Agency, if there is such a thing), and with him visited all the sites of the place, including devastated ex palaces, cemetaries, the main market, the former popular Chicken Street and more... A return in 2013 revealed a developing country far more normal than I expected. But better be cautious before coming up with a final verdict...
Highlight: The Zoo, where I ended up being more of an exhibit with the locals than the bear and lion.