Tag Archives: Russia

Throwing wolves by the lake shore.

Generalisations are often prone to error and misrepresentation, but – sometimes – they do hit the mark. I, for instance, always attached an aura of upper class, or in other words a certain whiff of snobbery, with all activities performed … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The 5.29 train to Aktobe.

This post dates from over a year ago. It wasn’t meant for publication on this blog; a book was going to be its destiny, a book on travels in Central Asia. Alas, this wasn’t to be; yet, I liked this … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Kazakhstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

“I’ve once been to Kyzyl-Orda, but never to New York”.

I recently attended a training course which, as corporate events normally do, started with an ice-breaker. Every attendee had to stand up, one by one, and declare to the roomful of colleagues something quirky, or unusual, about himself. When it … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The “Frontier School of Character”: Travels along the Pamir Highway Part II

To Karakul.  “I shall wander the wilds of Central Asia possessed of an insane desire to try the effects of cold steel across my throat” George Hayward 1839 – 1870 After two weeks of relentless sunshine, departure day opened with … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

The world from above. Steppe, mountains and the Caspian sea.

Looking at out planet from above is a profound experience. Michael Collins, Apollo 11’s resident philosopher, famously said that looking at Earth from a great distance was the strongest memory of his epic voyage, going on to add that Earth was … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Odd ones out, The world from above | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Notes from the fringes of the Empire: Yerevan.

Yerevan lies in a bowl shaped like the tongue of a cat, delimited on one side by the Hrazdan gorge, and on the others by steep hills, on which stand strange perches and other abstruse relics of the Soviet past. … Continue reading

Posted in Armenia, Caucasus, Europe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Precarious Equilibriums – Tbilisi’s Old Town, between neglect and recovery

It does not happen everyday to see a gigantic statue of a woman, with the features of a robot out of 1950s sci-fi film, clutching a sword and dominating from the natural pedestal of a steep hill. The statue, Kartlis … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, Georgia | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Faithful London – Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Chiswick

A few weeks ago I happened to be watching Simon Sebag Montefiore’s series of documentaries about Istanbul. What fascinated me, besides the undeniable beauty of that city, was how power – and religion – seemed to form the very fabric … Continue reading

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The world from above – Putorana Plateau, Siberia

Siberia is one of those places we simply forget about. We fly above it en route to Asia with our window shades rigorously lowered and if we ever look at it it’s just for seconds, enough to think “Shit, isn’t it … Continue reading

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