Altitude sickness took a lot out of me. For nearly a week, I suffered from chest pain, stomach issues, and generally feeling like a corpse in progress. Luckily, descending to a reasonable altitude and spending some quality R&R time in Dushanbe sorted me right out.
Dushanbe is a beautiful city, something which–no offense to the city planners–caught me off-guard as I explored it for the first time. Tree-lined avenues, grandiose government buildings, and pristine parks decorate Tajikistan’s modern, clean capital. Coming from the frontier-esque Pamirs, it seemed like I’d switched countries.
One of my favorite spots in the city was Rudaki Park. Mid-way along the avenue of the same name, the park is a labyrinth of walking paths through beds of blooming flowers. Benches line the walkways, often occupied by affectionate young couples dressed to kill. Decked out in grungy backpacking clothes, I felt like a blight. [Read more…]