Page 3 of WorldWideWanderers Travel Blog Posts


Asia » Uzbekistan » Samarkand October 5th 2015

Following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and many other great explorers during the subsequent 2500 years, we arrive at Registan Square in Samarkand - the crossroads of the great Silk Road of Central Asia. The Registan Square really is one of the wonders of the world - it is truly awe-inspring. A large central open square is surrounded, on three sides, by Shir Dor Madrassah, Ulug Beg Madrassah and the Tillya Kari Madrassah. The facades, columns and archways are covered by brightly coloured tiles with geometric designs and patterns, with minarets and bright blue copulas. Within each madressah the former student cells have been converted into artisan workshops, small tourist shops selling silks, bags and scarves. We hear stories and tales of Timur the Great (Tamerlane) - how he ruthlessly built his empire only ... read more
Mausoleum at night - Samarkand
Blue domed mosque - Samarkand
Registan Square - Samarkand

Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara October 3rd 2015

We start our journey across the Kzyzlkum desert, from Khiva to Bukhara, 450km of sand and scrubland, which will take 9 hours. The first 200 km is on a recently-made smooth dual carriageway but after this we bump and bounce our way along a rough, frequently potholed road and eventually arrive in Bukhara shaken but not quite stirred!! We have our evening meal in the hotel, which is one of our worst meals so far, and unfortunately several of the group, including both WanderingPeter and Alison are struck down with a dose of "Bukhara Belly" which curtails our exploration of Bukhara somewhat. One or other of us, however, does manage to see the wonderful Kalon Mosque, the Kalon Minaret (1127), demonstrations of the famous Bukhara carpet weaving and a meal at the house of a miniaturist ... read more
Gold teeth are all the fashion in Uzbekistan
The Rough road to Bukhara
The road across the Kzyzlkum desert

Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara September 29th 2015

Khiva hidden in the Kyzylkum desert of North West Uzbekistan is one of the remotest of the great silk road cities of Uzbekistan situated a mere 18-day camel caravan ride from Bukhara. The great mud-brick city walls, built to repel marauders, surround the old inner city, the Ichan Kala. Once the hordes of Genghis Khan, but now tourists, can gain entrance through one of the four great gateways. As we walk through the gateway we enter a world of madrassahs, minarets, pale clay-coloured buildings, narrow alleys and great mausoleums adorned with indigo blue and green tiles. The scene is mesmerising with the short somewhat stumpy Kalta Minor minaret being the star of the show! The next building is the Kukhna Ark, the oldest section of the original fortress, some 1500 years old. Within the walls there ... read more
Colourful cupolas in Khiva
Mud-brick old city walls - Khiva
Uzbek elders in front of the city walls - Khiva

Asia » Uzbekistan » Tashkent September 27th 2015

At last, we are traversing a section of the ancient Silk Road - travelling around the major "Silk Road Cities" of Uzbekistan. We arrived in the early morning in Tashkent - the exotically named capital city. Driving around the city we were amazed by the tree-lined, wide roads with extensive Russian-style buildings. A massive square, with a central statue of Timerlane on horseback - the Uzbek national hero, had pride of place. The whole square was surrounded by impressive large white buildings, headquarters of banks and industries, and the stark soviet built Hotel Uzbekistan. The Kukeldash Mosque, with its turquoise-coloured dome sparkling in the sun was magnificent, together with sandalwood pillars, tile and brick work. The adjacent medrassahs, a small museum, housing the world's oldest Koran, and other buildings formed a scene of Central Asia and ... read more
Non bread - Tashkent
Entrance to the Museum of Applied Arts - Tashkent
Applique embroidery - Museum of Apllied Arts - Tashkent

Oceania » Australia » South Australia March 16th 2015

We drove along Princes Highway from Port Fairy and entered South Australia, our seventh and final Australian State. After crossing the border we shortly arrived in Mount Gambier. We stopped at the Visitor Information Centre to find out where and what the main attractions were in the town. It is worth saying that we have found the Visitor Information Centres, in virtually every town across Australia, to be excellent. Manned by friendly helpful staff we have been able to find out detailed information about attractions, restaurants, accommodation and much more about the town and surrounding area, we have been able to obtain free WiFi, use clean well maintained restrooms and buy a wide variety of souvenirs. With the information supplied we were able to see the Umpherston Sinkhole - an amazing garden created in the depths ... read more
Umpherston Sinkhole - Mount Gambier
The Blue Lake - Mount Gambier
Arriving at the Adelaide Oval

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Great Ocean Road March 13th 2015

The Great Ocean Road, 151 miles running between Torquay and Allansford on the South East Victoria coast, has been described as one of the greatest coastal drives in the world - it certainly is!! The scenery is simply stunning, especially in the first section between Torquay and Lorne, where the road twists and turns along the coast, right at the waters edge. Bays and inlets of bright turquoise sea, large surf and long sandy beaches come into view around every bend. We break the trip by staying at a B & B in Apollo Bay, a small seaside town set on a wide expansive bay. We take a side trip, along Cape Otway Peninsula, to the old lightstation. On the way back we are again fortunate to see Koalas in the wild - more photographs!! Next ... read more
The Twelve Apostles
The entrance gateway and commemorative monument to the Great Ocean Road
Bells Beach - famous surfers' beach at Torquay

Oceania » Australia » Victoria March 5th 2015

A long and windy road up through the mist covered Snowy Mountains should have had spectacular views but not for us!! Extensive forests were present, many showing widespread dead trees from previous forest fires, which take decades to regenerate. The road was constantly up, until eventually we crossed the highest point of the Great Dividing Range at Dead Horse Gap ( I'm glad to report none were seen!) at an altitude of 5180ft. As it was summer, no snow was present, although things were pretty bleak, especially in Siberia, as one sign indicated - I'm pretty sure we hadn't taken a wrong turn!! The long downhill descent had begun, through vast Eucalypt forests. Stopping at a rest area, we were fortunate to see a small family group of kangaroos and even more fortunate to be able ... read more
A small group of wild kangaroos....at last!!
Happy to pose!!
At last - an awake Koala


Our journey continued due south to the Australian Capital Territory and into the capital city of Australia - Canberra. Our first impression was of a quiet city with wide open boulevards lined by large Eucalypt trees, low buildings and the feeling of space. We found our hotel, with the help of Sheila, which was situated on capital hill and were pleasantly surprised that it had been recently refurbished. As it was a Sunday we had a drive around the city, enjoying the lack of traffic. We visited the National War Museum which was extensive. There were many exhibits, maps plans, photographs etc presented in a way which explained all the conflicts that Australian troops had taken part in. The Australians appear to honour their war dead in a big way. Next day, although hot and sunny, ... read more
Along Anzac Parade from the National War Memorial to Capital Hill
View across Lake Burley Griffin to Capital Hill
Australian Emblemb on Parliment House

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales February 23rd 2015

After an extra few days enjoying the sights of Sydney we picked up our hire car, a bright blue Ford Kuga, and set off for our road trip. Over the coming four weeks we will be driving from Sydney to Adelaide, via Melbourne. We have a rough route in mind but are flexible, to a certain extent, to amend the route as we please or follow up any recommendations we hear about on the way. Sheila, our friendly sat nav Aussie voice, is helping us to find the way!! We leave Sydney over the Anzac bridge and follow the prominent signs to the Blue Mountains. At Penrith we turn off the main route and head towards Richmond. We stop in this small town and walk up and down the main street until we spot a small ... read more
Crimson Rosella
The Three Sisters - Blue Mountains
Views of the Blue Mountains

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney February 20th 2015

What a fantastic city Sydney was! There was so much to see and do, the people were friendly and helpful with an amazing ethnic mix resulting in a vibrant atmosphere and a wide choice of restaurants all of which seemed to be of good quality - but it was not a cheap city to stay in!! Our first day showed us the highlights on a city tour. Sydney harbour was as spectacular as seen on the TV - but actually much better!! The Harbour bridge dominated the view across the shining blue waters of the harbour with the white shells of Sydney Opera House sparkling in the sun. Magical!! Bondi beach was exactly as one imagined - a sweeping stretch of white sand, deep blue sea with large rollers, surfers and bronzed bodies lying out under ... read more
Sparkling roof of the Sydney Opera House
Overlapping shells of the Sydney Opera House
Sydney Harbour ferry and the Opera House




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