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Three foreign cyclists have recently taken in the sites of Herat province as part of their mammoth journeys across numerous countries.

Marco, from Germany, has spent months cycling through the region and said he was excited to include Afghanistan in his travel plans. He said he hopes to see as many tourist attractions and places of interest in the country as possible.

“I was really impressed by the warm hospitality of the people and some things are special here; Europeans complain a lot about the situation here, while people here smile and try to live as best as possible,” he said.

Another recent visitor to Herat was Nikla, a Muslim from Italy. He said he has been cycling across Europe and Central Asia for the past year with the aim of visiting as many Islamic countries as possible. He said he wants to learn the customs and traditions of Muslims around the world.

“As I have written on my bicycle, Salam Alaikum [Peace be upon you], I wish that peace will be established in all Islamic countries and that there will be no more war and no war against Muslims,” he said.

Michel is another tourist and a German citizen who has also traveled an enormous distance to reach Herat by bicycle. Already however, he has cycled through Kabul and Balkh provinces and hopes to experience life in other provinces across Afghanistan.

Officials from Herat’s Directorate of Information and Culture meanwhile report a significant increase in foreign tourists in Herat this year.

“The number of tourists in Herat has increased this year compared to last year, and even two weeks ago there were tourists who came from the neighboring country of Iran and came by bicycle, who liked all the places to tour Afghanistan by bicycle,” said Rahmatullah Mohammadi, the head of Herat’s tourism office at the Department of Information and Culture.

Herat dates back to the Avestan times and has a number of historic sites, including the Herat Citadel and the Musalla Complex and is a popular tourist attraction.