The dignified sophistication of Herat gives this laid-back city a very different feeling than the rest of Afghanistan.  Famous for its poets and musicians, Heratis pride themselves in speaking eloquent and beautiful Persian.  From the Arg castle sitting high above the city, to the Timurid mosques and minarets, visitors are enchanted by the medieval monuments scattered around Herat.  Tree-lined boulevards and large parks complete the charm of this oasis at the edge of the desert.  Many observers have noted that Herat has more in common with Bukhara (Uzbekistan) or Esfahan (Iran), revealing the cultural links of these Silk Road cities during their apogee.