If you head north out of Kabul, you head through the Shomali Plains. At Charikar you can continue north to the Salang Pass and onto Mazar e Sharif in the north, and finally to Uzbekistan, or you can turn left into the Panjshir Valley, the home of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Lion of Panjshir. Massoud led the fightback against the Soviets, supported and funded by the C.I.A. Before you turn left to Panjshir as you head across the Shomali Plains, you drive along what is called 'The Red Road'. It was so called because in their final retreat, the Red Army was destroyed, their blood turning the mountains red.