Some cities, like New York, supposedly never sleep. Others, like Paris, seem to wake early, getting ready for another day. Amsterdam, at least on a Saturday morning, appears to be a city that likes to sleep in.
Rain began to fall soon after my husband, Peter, and I sat down at a cafe overlooking the Amstel River in Amsterdam. But we were cozy and dry, and the rhythm of the drops only served to double the ambience as we sipped wine and chatted about past travel adventures.
Sankt Goar, a sleepy little town nestled at the base of Burg Rheinfels, once noted as the largest fortress along the Rhine, is roughly 45 miles from Wiesbaden and an easy 50-minute drive on the B9 highway — just enough time for a game of “I spy a castle.”
Bamiyan, a picturesque but deeply impoverished province in north-central Afghanistan, has remained largely peaceful since international forces left earlier this year, but now a neighbor’s instability is making life difficult for residents.
Less than an hour’s drive from the sleepy city of Bamiyan, with its giant Buddhas, nascent tourism industry, and zero foreign troops, this rugged mountain district in what many consider the safest province in the country has quietly become a tense battleground between government forces and insurgents. It may provide a peek at what Afghanistan faces in a post-NATO world.
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