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art and travel journal from a round-the-world art adventure

Trip: The 'stan tour

There are [11] stories from my trip: The 'stan tour


UZBEKISTAN | Sunday, 25 Apr 2010 | Views [740]

There are two kinds of train in Uzbekistan – the old, slow Russian, and the newer Chinese. The network is extensive, a product both of Soviet planning and Uzbekistan's status as one of the very few doubly landlocked countries on earth. While ... Read more >

Savitsky Musuem

UZBEKISTAN | Sunday, 18 Apr 2010 | Views [590]

In Soviet times Nukus was a closed city. Home to a chemical weapons lab and the capital of the semi-autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan it is 20 hours from Tashkent by train and 200 km south of the Aral Sea. Surrounded by desert and scrub it is the ... Read more >


TURKMENISTAN | Sunday, 11 Apr 2010 | Views [591]

Without doubt Turkmenistan is an orderly place. In Ashgabat police and security staff outnumber citizens, and certainly tourists, of whom we saw none during our five day stay. Everything is clean. The grass around the monuments is even and very green, ... Read more >


IRAN | Sunday, 4 Apr 2010 | Views [639]

Mashhad, like Karbala and Najaf in Iraq, is one of the holy cities of Shi'a Islam. As the resting place of the eighth Imam, Reza, its golden domed shrine and adjacent courtyards spread over several city blocks. There is underground parking, a museum, ... Read more >


IRAN | Monday, 29 Mar 2010 | Views [635]

Tehran is a sprawling, muscular city of concrete and wide boulevards, manicured parks, palaces, mosques, ruined cinemas and expressway flyovers. It is home to 15 million people, and rising. Apartment buildings stretch ... Read more >


IRAN | Monday, 22 Mar 2010 | Views [466]

Until 1989 traffic was permitted on the historic bridges of Isfahan. It is hard to believe it could have been so. These days the lower arches of their 400 year old stone and mortar structures conceal tea houses, their upper youths and couples ... Read more >


IRAN | Monday, 15 Mar 2010 | Views [542] | Comments [1]

Far out in the desert, Yazd from above is a series of eggshell domes and the tall square section towers – badgirs – that in summer capture breezes and funnel them down to cool the houses of the rich. The poor make do these days with AC. At street ... Read more >


UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Tuesday, 9 Mar 2010 | Views [536]

Sharjah is one of the smaller Emirates, formed in 1971 when the ruler of Abu Dhabi brought the six Trucial States of the Gulf Coast into federation. Before that there had been nominal ties with Britain to prevent piracy and safeguard shipping in the ... Read more >

Indus Valley School

PAKISTAN | Tuesday, 2 Mar 2010 | Views [862] | Comments [1]

The main building, or rather buildings, of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture were transported stone by stone from the downtown, where they were due to be demolished, to Clifton, part of the endless Cantonment district that flanks the ... Read more >

PAF Museum

PAKISTAN | Sunday, 21 Feb 2010 | Views [785]

During the week the Pak Air Force Museum is quiet save for the roar of civilian jetliners and military transport planes taking off from the nearby airport and air force base. As with military museums everywhere it is a curious mix of obsolete hardware ... Read more >

Railway Bazaar

PAKISTAN | Sunday, 14 Feb 2010 | Views [505] | Comments [1]

As well as the usual markets selling everything from industrial chemicals to paper products Lahore has several that specialise in second hand wares. Some of these are obviously local – dead format electronica and spares for the ever present Suzuki ... Read more >