Blogs from Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan, Asia


Asia » Turkmenistan » Turkmenbashi October 16th 2014

Turkmenbashi Oct 14 2014 So our Caspian Sea cruise is close to completion. I have no idea how close as we are still on board and in dock with the cargo doors open. It has lived up to expectation. Certainly it is an option for the slow traveller. This is not a passage for any one with a deadline or in a rush. This part of our journey was some what of a centre piece. It was the first bit we researched over a year ago because it made the whole route possible. Without it and with Ukraine out of bounds you either have to go through Iran, like most Mongol rally folks do these days, or through the Russian Caucasus. Iran is increasingly becoming more open with the thawing of relations with the West, we ... read more
Train in Alat ferry port
Waiting to board at Alat
Anchoring off Baku

Asia » Turkmenistan » Turkmenbashi August 16th 2014

Greetings from on board the Akedemik Hassan Aliev, in the middle of the Caspian Sea en route from Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan (named by former Turkmem president Turkmenbashi after himself) to Baku, Azerbaijan. When I last wrote, I was in Ashgabat preparing for the five day journey to the Caspian Coast. From Ashgabat, my first stop was at Geok-Depe, the site of a brutal massacre of approximately 15,000 Turkmens by the Russians towards the end of the 19th century, which marked the end of Turkmen resistance to Russian colonization. Russia was primarily concerned in the 19th century with finding a "natural" southern border to its empire, with the hopes of ending nomadic raids into Russian areas. Turkmen nomads, partly just for sport, would raid Russian villages and capture Russians to be sold in Central Asian slave markets. The ... read more
Mosque built to commemorate Turkmenbashi's first Haj

Asia » Turkmenistan » Turkmenbashi May 22nd 2014

Turkmenbashi There were 18 other tourists on an overland adventure tour on the ferry. They are on a 6 month excursion on a big converted truck. The ferry trip across the Caspian took 14 hours. We anchored a little after noon to wait for the previous rail ferry to clear the dock. The ferry docked at 6:30, and we unloaded at 9:30. Then the fun began. The Turkmenistan entry process is incredibly slow, tedious, and incomprehensible. Everything is written by hand and stamped several times. Wehad to visit 10 different windows, some several times, make 4 different payments in two different currencies, and collect up 14 different documents (all filled in by hand). We set a new record. Into customs at 9:30 PM and out at 7:00 AM. Nine and one half hours just to get ... read more

Asia » Turkmenistan » Turkmenbashi October 6th 2010

Will man normalerweise mit einer Fähre fahren, so schaut man im Fahrplan, geht dann an den Fahrkartenschalter und kauft sich ein Ticket. Da wir uns in Turkmenistan befinden, läuft dies etwas anders. Erstens, es gibt keinen Fahrplan, zweitens, niemand weiss Bescheid und drittens, niemand tut sich darum, Bescheid zu wissen. Für alle Informationen muss man grundsätzlich wissen, bei wem man diese holen kann. Im Normalfall sind dies nicht „Infoschalter“ sondern jemand der irgend so herumlungert, aber eben der richtige ist. So nun alles der Reihe nach: Es kommen regelmässig Fähren, die anlegen. Eine angelegte Fähre ist schon mal gut. Jedoch muss man dann warten, bis bekannt wird, ob auf die Fähre Zugwagen mit entzündlicher Flüssigkeit (Benzin, Diesel) verfrachtet werden. Ist dies der Fall, kann man nur mit viel Schmiergeld mitfahren, Passagiere sind auf diesen Fähren verboten. ... read more
Im Hafen von Turkmenbaschi
Unser Fährschiff Mercuri im Hafen von Turkmenbaschi
Die aserbaidschanische Flagge auf der Mercuri

Asia » Turkmenistan » Turkmenbashi May 4th 2010

We are now officially in the land of big hats. Since we left Turkey the hats have been getting bigger and snazzier. All the officials have enormous peaked caps, the more important the man the bigger the hat - they really are superb. Unfortunately, since Turkey, we have also been in the land of 'strict security' so taking pictures of officials in their hats is a big no no. As is taking photos of the border crossings or the “ferry” we are about to board. To get from Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan we have to take a “ferry” across the Caspian Sea. The “ferries” are designed to carry railway carriages rather than people. Its all a bit hit and miss, there are no timetables, it just depends when the next “ferry” docks and if the captain is ... read more
the bikes rowed up in the bowels of the "ferry" next to the railway carriages
our luxury cabin
leaving Baku, Azerbaijan

Asia » Turkmenistan » Turkmenbashi November 10th 2009

Turkmenistan On the 19th of October my flight of 17.30 brought me from Amsterdam via Istanbul to Asghabath the main capitol of Turkmenistan. The last flight was terrible, many people with to many stuff! I was surprised the people could carry so much. After landing I had to go for my visa, this took 2 hours of waiting. Than there was a man assisting how to get on my inland flight, this took about 2 hours to Turkmenbashy. When it got light I saw that the entire inland flight was over dessert and rocks. No towns or signs of civilisation. When the plain started its landing I saw some roads and gas pipes crossing the landscape. The small airport had one landing strip and a still under construction flight tower. All foreigners where again placed in ... read more
HAM 217 at sun set
Me and the cutter head
The Bazaar

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