Marja Talen

Orom travel, Thanks again for the amazing trip!

I signed up for a trip with Orom travel to Iskandarkul as there is no local transport going straight to Iskandarkul and this saved me the hassle of negotiating with taxi drivers whom do not speak English. I was picked up by Orom travel with a luxury van and we headed north out of Dushanbe. Through the strange unfinished tunnel at the Anzob pass before we turned left to Iskandarkul. The road winds its way for 25km, first through villages and then along increasingly steep tracks with some rather tight hairpin bends. The scenery along the way is stunning. We stopped to take some pictures.

We stayed in chalets near the gorgeous mountain lake. The chalets are a bit rundown but the beautiful view across the lake makes it all up. The water is an amazingly bright shade of turquoise and with the snow-capped mountains in the background it looks picturesque from any angle.

We went for a 30 minute walk downstream along the north bank of the river to a scary platform overlooking an impressive 40 meter waterfall.

It was good that we brought some warm clothes as it became chilly in the evening as the lake is at 2195m. Iskanderkul is the Persian name for Alexander’s Lake. Orom travel shared the legends around the expedition of Alexander the Great with us. In the evening they came up with a play and all who wanted could play a role in it. We sat down around a campfire in outfits which reminded us of ancient times and I got some big earrings to wear to be dragged even further into the story. The play was hilarious. I had a good laugh. A glass of wine, the smell of marshmallows on the camp fire, nice people, the stories about Alexander the Great and the beautiful scenery surrounding us added all to the fact that this became an unforgettable trip for me.

In the morning we climbed up to the smaller black Snake Lake which is just behind the hills. The view of that lake is so different from Iskandarkul lake. And if you walk back you have the chance to get a great overview of the campsite and Iskanderkul lake.

Before we travelled back we got a glimpse of the President’s dacha on the far end of the lake were you can also find the 5 springs. People believe that each spring has a certain power to give to people, like one spring is for happiness and another for luck. Although I do not believe in such and I am not sure if it is wise to drink from it, it was interesting anyway. After that we headed back to Dushanbe leaving me with good memories.