My heart soared as the landscape changed below me on my flight here from Dubai. After a relatively sleepless flight from London to Dubai and a four hour layover I had been dozing but then awoke to the splendour of those very mountains that had made such an impression on my first flight here last autumn.
As far as the eye can see 180° of mountain ranges this time snow capped! Any thoughts of further napping were banished completely. These mountains never cease to amaze me. The ridges of the mountains in some places appearing so systematic that it is almost as if a tessellation has been constructed below me. If one looks very closely one can see settlements, villages nestled in the valleys. From my airplane seat they appear as the meticulous work of a master sandcastle maker, being the same colour of the terrain they inhabit.
As the sun hits the water of the streams and rivers that intersect the landscape below they appear as metallic thread woven into some giant rippling tapestry laid out beneath me. As we approach Kabul the snow capped mountains rise up on one side their appearance is not unlike a succession of waves awaiting rolling onto shore. The mountains beside me as we slowly make our descent like a crested wave threatening to crash onto the basin below and the city spread out along it. Shortly there is the first appearance of green and wider snaking rivers. Descending onto the runway once again I am greeted by rows of helicopters and airplane hangers and I know for sure that I am back in Kabul.