I am obsessed with Afghanistan. It is a beautiful country full of people who are world-renowned for their hospitality. Unfortunately a few bastard terrorists are ruining the public image of this once normal country and forcing even proud, honest Afghans to reluctantly flee their homeland. Ever seen photos of Kabul in the 1960’s? It looked like a normal Western city, full of international university students, businessmen, travelers and hippie backpackers, free-thinking idealists, and oh my! even women walking around in skirts!
Photos © Dr Bill Podlich — see more here
Although Kabul, the country’s capital, is still rife with suicide bombers during the summertime, west of Kabul lies the safe and untouched magical winter wonderland of Bamyan. Back in the 1960’s Bamyan was part of the Central Asia hippie trail and a popular stop with travelers en route to India.
Nowadays the province is still a popular skiing destination every winter and home to Bamyan Ski Club. Every year they host the Afghan Ski Challenge and 2017 is the 7th one. Skiers from around the world flock to the mountains here to ski alongside Afghan’s best.
Imagine skiing down these pristine Afghan slopes
More Aerial Afghanistan Photos
The 7th Annual Afghan Ski Challenge takes places on March 3rd, 2017.
Along with a friend from Kabul, I hope to be able to take part in this years ski challenge. But will I be able to? Not 100% sure. I’m currently in Scandinavia on a project and have two other potential gigs scheduled for late February and early March that are still in negotiation. I contacted Untamed Borders in the hopes of coming to a mutually beneficial relationship but they politely told me that they do not offer any media discounts, and that the price remains firmly set at $2,750 USD.
However if I fly into Afghanistan and arrange everything myself then entry into the Bamyan Ski Challenge is only $100 USD 😉 Schedule permitting, this will be how I do it. (Never been one for group tours anyway.)
“All I want to know now is….who’s coming with me?!?” 😉
Would you go skiing in Afghanistan?
If you still think Afghanistan is a scary place, I urge you to follow my friend @Afghanistan_You_Never_See to glimpse the REAL Afghanistan 😀
45 thoughts on “Aerial Photos Of Afghanistan”
My brother! Hopes and dreams became reality. I remember when we were still kids.
Yeah still need to do that TV show together soon otherwise Ryan Brün might be replacing you ????
Derek Freal we still need to get our show rolling!
Ready when you are. Will keep you updated about my dates in the States next month. For now I’ve got the apartment in Helsinki and am focused on busting out some fresh new videos.
Derek Freal You have an apartment in Helsinki for how long?
If I had 10€ for everytime someone asked me that this last week I wouldn’t have to pay for this place. We’ll see where it goes…
Derek Freal thats sweet. Can I move in? haha.
C’mon! Funny how this former nomad now has a condo and apartment (not to mention two drones despite the fact I can only fly one at a time hahaha)
Derek Freal lol…rolling in the dough eh?
Spending it as fast as I make it Ryan, yes sir! Just ask Jared I’ve *never* had problems spending money ????
Nor have I lol. One way ticket in this life.
woooooo nice , this photo take from museum?
Tidak, oleh saya! –> http://bit.ly/2k6qCkM
nice , terbaik
Sorry Jeff Jim Alexandra once again my fat fingers got the best of me and I hit post without adding the link. Just edited the post to include it…check out all the photos! 🙂
Chubby fingers is the one physical trait that most stands out to me when thinking about you.
And holy pants, of course 😉
Saw those mountains from the ground and the air
2004-2005 and 2009-2011
Well then I guess the real question is: would you go back again as a tourist Bob ?
No, I know some have but it is just not worth it. Kind of like going to Southern Mindanao or Boko Haram controlled territory. Yes there are good people but too many others that would love to get their hands on a westerner, carrying a camera and a smile or not.
Bob yeah well I definitely won’t be walking around in shorts and a t-shirt with a camera in my hands, I’ll be blending in. But I do understand your point 110% my friend.
it may due to my phone problem, because now i comment here also got problem n delayed
Derek you’ve got a blessed life mate ????????
Thanks Raman its both good at bad….but I try to stay positive. And I hope the people of Afghanistan can too
You know it’s illegal to shoot aerial pictures of Afghanistan?
Hahahahahaha since when has that stopped me before ????
Derek Freal well I was kidding. I thought you would be an easy bait.
I know you were kidding Pavit but couldn’t think of a sarcastic response. BTW I think it’s been long enough that I can release the Khajuraho footage….what do you think?
Derek Freal there’s never been a better time to do crazy shit
Thanks for this post, Derek.
Afghanistan looks wonderful.
Thank you Ahamed, really hope we can cross paths in real life one day soon. Will keep you updated 🙂
i have quality contacts in kabul if you need friend.. love ya peace
Sweet, please introduce me via email if you have the time David 🙂
You need to get on the ground buddy 😉
Soon, soon…..I’m trying Jonny!
Derek Freal Do you know Alex Reynolds? She and her boyfriend travelled other parts of Afghanistan I didn’t get to around the same time last year and wrote an awesome guide to it all at their blog Lost With Purpose
Nope but the blog sounds familiar. However the sad part is even if I can fit the ski challenge into my schedule, I’m going to have at most a week in Afghanistan. Not the extended type of immersive slow travel that I much prefer. Very much torn over what to do… :/
Derek Freal Totally understand… time limits suck
Great aerial photos of Afghanistan. Not that long ago I was fly from Dubai to Seattle and we were flying over Iran fro couple hours. This was such a rear opportunity for me and I took many aerial photos of that country and I don’t care if it legal or NOT. I really would love to visit Afghanistan and Iran one day.
Well, I hope you will make to Bamyan Ski Challenge.
Iran is also on my list!Visa on arrival to 150+ nations around the globe but sadly as a US passport holder visiting is not easy. MFA approval of itinerary and tour guide are required to apply for the visa. How did the country look from 39,000 feet up in the air? I’ve heard nothing but the best things from all the European travelers I have met who passed through Iran…
It looks so beautiful there, I would love to visit but sadly the stability in the country makes this impossible for me. Those mountains look stunning!
Indeed, so beautiful. Shame the news never covers that side of Afghanistan. But I still want to visit, even if its risky. The country does have a fledgling tourism industry and I would like to help. But helping also means going when I have like $10k+ extra just blow on the trip to do it proper, pay for security and trips out to the countryside to meet with locals but do it all safe, authentic and get some stunning video content in the process. Definitely don’t want to visit on some guided tour or a budget trip lol