With a rural hinterland of grassy pastures and snow-capped mountains visible from down town, Dushanbe (ДУШАНБЕ) is a delightful city built around parks, lakes and fountains. With the frenetic building project of the past decade mostly complete, there is a palpable air of satisfaction about the city centre. Its grand plane tree boulevard, Rudaki, threads past pastel-hued remnants of the Soviet era and just as proudly past the modern icons of statehood. Chief of these is the golden statue of 10th-century Ismoil Somoni presiding over Friendship Square, representative of the sense of renaissance that marks the current era, both in Dushanbe and Tajikistan as a whole.
During warmer months, it is easy to while away a few days in Dushanbe, strolling the parks, visiting museums and relaxing into the city's tranquil atmosphere. As such, it makes for an island of comfort and convenience in a country of exciting but tough travel.