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Category: Silk Road

Merv A Desert Fortress of Pottery Shards

Last weekend we embarked on a three day / two night camping trip to the ruins of Merv.  A short 30 km away from the present city of Mary,...

The Ashgabat Zoo

In my youth we would visit zoos all over the world. I’ve seen some of the most amazing zoos humanity has to offer, at the top of the...

Sojourn to Nissa

Yesterday we got in the 4×4 and took an off road expeditionary tour of Nissa,which was once a Parthian capital in the 3rd century BC....

Visiting the Gates of Hell, Darvaza Turkmenistan

Dante readers beware, the “Gates of Hell” are very real. They are located in the middle of a vast, uninhabitable desert (not...

Swimming with Snakes

After the very long drive from Nohur to the Turkmenbasy on the Caspian Sea, and searching for a place to stay, we all ended up at the...

Fighting the Caspian Sea Virus

When we tell people that we live on the road, their eyes light up and they inevitably mutter, glazed-eyed: “man, I wish I could do...

The Push-Push Bazaar

For many Silk Route travelers, the Push-Push bazaar outside Ashgabat is one of the greatest highlights of the road. The bazaar spans...

Nohur The Last Call to Prayer

The small and relatively untouched village of Nohur rests in an unmarked valley of the Kopet Dag Mountains, which make up the border of...

Dinosaur Eggs on the Journey to the Caspian

We decided to take a weekend trip out to the Caspian Sea from Ashgabat.  Leaving mid-afternoon on Friday we planned to stop in the small...

Hajji Mosque in Geokdepe

This afternoon we ventured out of Ashgabat to see the museum to the Turkmen’s last stand against the Russians. 15,000 men, women and...

Cableway to the Iranian Border

From Ashgabat there is a cable car into the mountains that make up the southern border of Turkmenistan with Iran. For 2 Minat (75 cents)...

Independence Park in Ashgabat

Laid out in 1993, two years after the Turkmen claimed independence from the Russians after the fall of the Soviet Union, Independence Park...

Statistics from Shanghai to Ashgabat

Originally, the trip was planned as a Shanghai to Ashgabat adventure. Well, we have an announcement to make—we have decided to keep on...

Goodbye Uzbekistan

After recovering the cell phone in Bukhara, we decided it was time to move on as we had been in Uzbekistan for almost 25 days and in...

The Great Cellphone Saga

Somewhere in the ruins of the Urgench fortresses the cell phone dropped out of my side bag and into the hot, desert sand. It was not until...

The Bukhara Local’s Market

Shopping in old town Bukhara is an expensive endeavor. A meter of fabric is $8 USD, “hand made! Very beautiful!” while a T-shirt is...

There and Back Again, a Lauren’s Tale

For those of you who got the reference above to Tolkien, I salute you. (and for those of you who got the ‘I salute you’ reference from...

Karakulpakstan and the 50 Fortresses

Just a daytrip away from Urgench or Khiva, the “Golden Ring of Ancient Khorezm,” should not be missed. Although some may disagree or...

Khiva A Silk Road Oasis

Khiva was once renowned for its exotic and plentiful slave trade along the silk route. Slaves were captured in distant lands and marched...

Inshallah We Shall Arrive in Khiva

Having decided to leave Bukhara, we endeavored to find a way to Khiva, a city on the western side of Uzbekistan. There was a train, but it...

Bukhara is The City Synonymous with Medieval Torture

It was in front of The Ark that Stoddart and Connolly were executed at the Emir’s request in 1842. It had all started innocently enough...

The Bukhara Underbelly

We arrived in Bukhara this afternoon and were a bit shocked by the strange reception we received. Having met the owner of a B&B on the...

Daniel’s Tomb and Ulugh Beg’s Observatory

After taking a walking tour of several mausoleums and the ruins of Ulugh Beg’s (the famous Central Asian astronomer) observatory, we...

Tamerlane’s Tomb

Down the street past the Registan, near a huge monument of Tamerlane, sits the Guri Amir Mausoleum. The mausoleum was a huge complex with a...

Shanghai to Samarkand and The People We’ve Met

When traveling you get to met people from every walk of life with all kinds of beliefs ranging from the mundane to the insane.  In...