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More Expat Vagabonds "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness" Mark Twain

Vagabonds3

UZBEKISTAN | Tuesday, 31 Mar 2015 | Views [603]

ONCE AGAIN WE HAVE EXCEEDED OUR PHOTO LIMIT and it is time to begin Chapter 3 of the Vagabonds saga.  We had hoped to finish out our time in the “peaceful ‘Stans” in vagabondstoo, but it was not to be.  We are on our way back ... Read more >


Samarkand

UZBEKISTAN | Friday, 27 Mar 2015 | Views [434]

SAMARKAND IS ONE OF CENTRAL ASIA’S OLDEST and most impressive cities.  This is as true today as it was when Alexander the Great arrived in 329 BCE when it was known as Marakanda.  Samarkand was a major market on the Silk Road where caravans ... Read more >


The Road to Samarkand

UZBEKISTAN | Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 | Views [514]

FOUR HOURS AND THREE HUNDRED KILOMETERS OF DESERT separate Bukhara from Shakhrisabz.  The birthplace of Timur, aka Tamerlane, is easier to spell than to pronounce.  And if you visit in 2016 it should be wonderful.  But today Shakhrisabz ... Read more >


Bukhara

UZBEKISTAN | Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 | Views [631] | Comments [1]

THERE IS LITTLE BUT DESERT BETWEEN KHIVA and Bukhara and it took us six hours to reach town.  Norbek is an excellent driver and is proud of his brand new Uzbekan-made Chevy.  We can’t help but marvel that he knows all the turns since ... Read more >


Navruz in Khiva

UZBEKISTAN | Saturday, 21 Mar 2015 | Views [529]

THE HISTORY OF KHIVA MAY WELL GO BACK TO NOAH’S flood when legend says it was founded by his son, Shem.  What remains of the double-walled city today is more recent, mostly from the 18 th Century.  Khiva is so well preserved that ... Read more >


Nukus and the Vanishing Aral Sea

UZBEKISTAN | Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 | Views [490]

WHAT AT FIRST APPEARED TO BE ROTTEN WINTER SNOW is actually salt — NaCl, not SnOw.  We are in Nukus, 1150 km northeast of Tashkent and as good a place as any to begin our discovery of Uzbekistan.  While we were whinging about a second ... Read more >


Photos: Uzbekistan

UZBEKISTAN | Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | Photo Gallery


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Tashkent

UZBEKISTAN | Wednesday, 18 Mar 2015 | Views [614]

THE SOVIETS ARE GONE BUT THEIR MENTALITY lives on in Uzbekistan.  The visa process was just the tip of the iceberg.  Before landing in Tashkent we had to declare everything of value — cameras, lenses, ipod, Kindle, computer —... Read more >


Back in Bishkek

KYRGYZSTAN | Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 | Views [466]

THERE WERE 17 — COUNT ‘EM, 17 — TODDLERS on the flight back from Osh, seventeen chubby faces peeking out between woolen hats and puffy parkas.  I guess things are looking up in Kyrgyzstan, bright enough for young couples to start ... Read more >


Osh and the Sulaiman Too Sacred Mountain

KYRGYZSTAN | Saturday, 14 Mar 2015 | Views [662]

ONE THING YOU CAN SAY ABOUT OSH — IT ISN’T BISHKEK.  It’s a dusty town on the border with Uzbekistan, ten hours by road or 45 air minutes and again we chose to fly.  Once on the ground things began interestingly.  Our ... Read more >


Bishkek

KYRGYZSTAN | Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 | Views [636]

BISHKEK LOOKS MORE PLEASANT IN THE SUNSHINE than it did yesterday in the freezing drizzle.  But even the fresh dusting of snow can’t hide the city’s glaring Soviet past.  There isn’t much to see in the capital formerly known ... Read more >


Photos: Kyrgyzstan

KYRGYZSTAN | Monday, 9 Mar 2015 | Photo Gallery


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Tamgaly Petroglyphs

KYRGYZSTAN | Saturday, 7 Mar 2015 | Views [630]

WE DIDN’T REALIZE THAT THERE ARE TWO SITES called “Tamgaly.”  Neither, as it happens, did Vladimir when he hooked us up with Tour 4X4 for a day trip.  “Tamgaly” means “stone writing” and both places ... Read more >


Almaty

KAZAKHSTAN | Thursday, 5 Mar 2015 | Views [462]

THE DECISION TO FLY TO ALMATY WAS AN EASY ONE — twenty-two hours by train versus 90 minutes in the air.  As much as we like train travel, a full day across the flat, snowy barrens of Kazakhstan wasn’t tempting in the least.   ... Read more >


Around Astana

KAZAKHSTAN | Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 | Views [502]

WITH APOLOGIES TO WC FIELDS, WE WENT TO ASTANA and it was closed.  Actually, we cocooned in our room both Sunday and Monday recuperating from the trip from Kuwait — a combination of a 4 AM departure, another layover in Abu Dhabi, airline ... Read more >


A Cold Welcome to Astana

KAZAKHSTAN | Sunday, 1 Mar 2015 | Views [493]

AS I LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW ON THE PLANE’S final approach, I could almost see a pack of wolves chasing Zhivago and Lara’s sleigh across the snowy landscape.  Guess I was hallucinating — 30 sleepless hours can do that.  The ... Read more >


Photos: Kazakhstan

KAZAKHSTAN | Sunday, 1 Mar 2015 | Photo Gallery


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Kuwait National Day

KUWAIT | Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 | Views [493]

KUWAIT, A FORMER BRITISH PROTECTORATE,  is a new country, achieving independence on 25 February, 1960.  Which is how we stumbled upon the National Day celebrations, a day of picnicing along the parade route, of kids with water bazookas dousing ... Read more >


Kuwait Wild Goose Chase

KUWAIT | Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 | Views [456]

KUWAIT IS THE LAST OF THE ARABIAN GULF COUNTRIES left for us to visit as Americans, completing the category as they say on Jeopardy .  This, and the fact that our onward flight leaves from Abu Dhabi, are the only reasons we decided to come here.... Read more >


Photos: Kuwait

KUWAIT | Monday, 23 Feb 2015 | Photo Gallery


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Easter Island, 2012

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