I travel whenever time and money allows, seeking interesting sights and experiences where ever I can find them.

To date I have seen large expanses of the Asian, European and African continents.

In 2014 I will travel through Russia, from the Pacific to the Baltic as well as Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Europe » Russia » Siberia July 16th 2014

Kupeyny vagon or second class is four to cabin and is far superior to cattle class, so our trip to Krasnoyarsk was suprisingly pleasant, apart from one drunk clown who was so inebriated that he could have been dangerous, first chance we got we left the restaurant car. Sometime later the waitress delivered our meal to our cabin which was nice. I slept well, ear plugs certainly help of course, waking about 7am, just 4 or so hours to Krasnoyarsk. On arrival Antoliy from the Transib hostel was on the platform waiting with a big name card, I just love that it means no aimless wandering or dealing with dirty cabbies. He was also able to help me change one of our second class tickets to first which I never would have been able to do ... read more
Forest path
Ruth has climbed far enough
Admiring the views

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Irkutsk July 12th 2014

I was just saying to Ruth the day before that I wish those leaden skies would just open up and get it over with, however I did not want it to rain while we were walking down hill toward the railway station encumbered with our packs, I was concerned one of us would go arse up. A short time later we arrived safely and entered the station passing through security before going in search of information on which track our train was on. The girl at information ignored my enquiry then closed her booth before I could ask her again. Eventually I discovered platform 3 was were we needed to go so we lugged our gear up the stairs and across the overpass before boarding carriage 10 in the first class section of the train. The ... read more
Train 007H
The provodnitsa haunts the halls
Siberian village

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok July 7th 2014

Aeroflot's reputation is far from glowing but I found there food to be excellent at least. As usually I had one of those people who insist on reclining their seats within minutes of the aircraft taking off so the 8hr flight was far from comfortable. When we arrived at the airport all factors conspired to ensure we missed the 9am train ro the city, the baggage took an eternity to come out, then it took ages to get past baggage control and then the persistently bored looking and unhelpful stsff ensured we would miss the train my just moments. In Russia air travellers appear to ho to extremes in wrapping their luggage in plastic, it was only later when I found one of my locks damaged that I understood why, they also have that annoying habit ... read more
The eternal flame
The train station

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Moscow July 3rd 2014

After travelling for a day and a half we arrived at Domodedovo Airport south of Moscow and after the usual airport confusion purchased a ticket on Aeroexpress train to Paveletskaya station where we ended up taking a taxi to our accommodation near the Botanichesky Sad metro station. The "hotel" is more like a hostel with small private rooms in an old appartment building but it is quiet and cheap and has a small supermarket and bar next door. Our first attempt at the metro was successful but daunting, there are no English signs anywhere so trying to orientate is difficult and few people here seem to speak English either, this country will certainly be a challenge. We travelled from our closest metro Kitay-Gorod where we were immediately confused but after getting instructions found our way to ... read more
Gulag History Museum
The Bolshoi Theatre
Kazan Cathedral

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran September 29th 2013

I tried to visit Masuleh the last time I was in Iran but a serious traffic accident put paid to that so this time I am going to get there. It is a long day trip through some beautiful country which is saying something because Iran is often an ugly environmental disaster, unfortunately even the pretty mountains around Masuleh are tainted with rubbish where ever you look. I had a sleepless night so I spent most of the trip to Rasht dozing, with the madness on the roads here believe me it was a blessing. We stopped briefly for tea at Fumen before heading on to the pretty mountain town, as with Kandovan people still live here so it was pleasant to wander the village while people went about their daily business. It was also amusing ... read more
The village covers the mountainside
One of the villages lovely houses
More of this lovely mountain village

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran September 27th 2013

Today I visited the Cappadocia like fairy chimneys at Kandovan, the main differences between the two sites is that in Kandovan people still live in these dwellings, the town is smaller and not really set up for tourists, still it was a pleasant place to visit. Next it was a long drive through dull unattractive landscape and towns to Takab the closest destination with a decent hotel to Tahkt e Solieman or in English the Throne of Soliman which I will visit in the morning. I went for a walk looking for some dinner when I was approached by a young English student who wanted to chat, the next thing I knew I was in his class meeting his teacher, luckily it was women's night or I would have ended up taking the class. Eventually I ... read more
A panorama of the whole village
A unique and pretty village
This old man is riding his donkey to the next village

Middle East » Iran » North » Tabriz September 24th 2013

It has been seven years but I am back in Iran and this time I will concentrate on the north west of the country. I left Agarak a little after 8 am and was driven to the border by a very old man in an even older car, I then had quite a walk from the Armenia border post across a bridge spanning the Aras River, getting my passport checked by a multitude of officials, police and soldiers along the way. Finally I arrived at the Iranian immigration area and after a short wait passed through changing my dram to rials before exiting the building and meeting my driver and guide. First stop will be the town of Jolfa which is on the border with Azerbaijan where for some reason they dropped me at the hotel ... read more
Caravansari Abbasi
Now a beautifully restored restaurant
Dining rooms

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan September 21st 2013

I left the hostel early and travelled to the bus station to get a shared taxi to Yerevan when I arrived I secured the front seat and waited for other passengers to arrive, an hour later none had and the driver suggested I get a mini bus, there was no way I was doing that again so I just paid for the whole car. No sooner did we leave the city then I saw the results of a horror road crash one vehicle was smashed up on the side of the road the other was on its side and the windscreen was spider webbed where two heads had hit, this caused my driver to slow down for a few minutes. About thirty minutes later we crossed the border into Armenia, initially we were met with forested ... read more
Lake Sevan
Hay check out the truck
Train station

Asia » Georgia » Tbilisi District » Tbilisi September 18th 2013

I woke this morning covered in mosquito bites, it rained during the night as well, the first rain I have seen since leaving home. I decided to walk down to foreshore passing some tired soviet era architecture and a few outlandish looking modern hotels. The beach on the Black Sea was covered in pebbles as many European beaches seem to be, I spotted the Mcdonalds so I went to check it out, it has to be the most unique anywhere. I then went to visit a Roman ruin before hopping a bus to Tbilisi, it was horrific, even worse than yesterday, the drivers here are probably the most reckless I have ever seen and they drive way to fast. The mini bus ride was terribly uncomfortable and excruciatingly long which meant again I arrived in the ... read more
Mektekhi church perched above the Mtkvari river
Peace bridge
One of the cities many statues in front of historic architecture

Asia » Georgia » Adjara » Batumi September 14th 2013

Seven hours on the bus today, the countryside reminded me a little bit of Mongolia. I found the hotel easy enough before wandering out to see a few historic mosques, have another shave and track down a few cans of Efes. In the morning I visit the ancient Armenian capital of Ani which was initiated in 961 and later abandoned after earthquake and warfare sealed its destruction in the 14th century. The church of St Gregory perched dramatically above the Arpa Cayi river gorge was certainly a highlight as was the massive cathedral built in 967. The Menusher camii (mosque) has wonderful views of the river gorge and of Armenia. Other highlights include the restored city walls and the Zoarostrian fire temple although little remains of this structure. On returning to the city I had another ... read more
A church converted to a mosque
Ruined hammam
Fresco on the wall of St Gregory's

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