Archives for the month of: September, 2013

Bit of a big bit of news. In two weeks time I will be departing London on a bicycle with the goal of riding all the way to Shanghai! I thought it made more sense to just re-brand this blog for the duration of the trip (rather than create a new one) as some of you following it may be interested in this new trip. You can see my rough set of waypoints in the pic below.

map

A more detailed map of the route can be seen on this page, Map .I’ll do another post in the next few days explaining the logistics and equipment behind a trip like this, just throwing out this first post to explain the re-design for now :).

House of the Soviets - Tiraspol

House of the Soviets – Tiraspol

The first question everyone asks is what is Transnistria? Transnistria is a breakaway territory located in Moldova in Eastern Europe. Whilst it has a long history its current status is mostly due to the Moldovan pro-Romanian movement wishing to form closer times with neighbouring Romania during the 80’s. This included changing the official language of Moldova from Russian and Moldovan to just Moldovan (Moldovan is the same language as Romanian). This change, combined with the prospect of Moldova merging with Romania in the future, led many ethnic Russians and Ukrainians to feel oppressed.

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DSCF3044

Soviet Iconography still on display. (b.c.c.p – Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus.)

Belarus, a country sometimes referred to as “The Last Dictatorship in Europe” (Although Putin might have something to say about that), is not somewhere that jumps in to peoples minds as a tourist destination. The city was practically leveled during the Second world war and was rebuilt to the finest Stalinist standard featuring huge public buildings, a grand railway station and wide boulevards crisscrossing their way throughout the capital. Read the rest of this entry »

The Worlds largest Centrifuge

The Worlds largest Centrifuge

I recently put together a trip for my father who has had a long standing passion for space vehicle engineering. In the past he has visited various museums and complexes within the United States and I though it might be cool to see what it is possible to see of the the Russian space program. Dotted around Moscow are various cheap and easy to visit sites such as the Space Monument and Memorial Museum to Cosmonautics but I thought I’d make a post on how we visited Star City, the Cosmonaut training centre.

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In the last post (Iraqi Kurdistan Part 1 – Crossing the Border) I detailed our unnecessarily thrilling journey into Northern Iraq. The main question this post has thrown up from those of you that have read it is “Why? Why did you go there if that is what it is going to be like?” and I guess that’s fair when you consider the standard image of Iraq, which is the same image I subscribed too until I started to read more about the place.

Kharand Canyon, Iraqi Kurdistan

Kharand Canyon, Iraqi Kurdistan

Within the Middle-East Iraqi Kurdistan is now considered a bit of a paradise, it has remained stable for coming on 10 years (In which time it has not the seen the death of a single foreigner,  a better rate than most western countries) and has a lot to offer its visitors. To the north and east there is the dramatic scenery of the Zagros mountains, the impressive Kharand Canyon and the Ali Beg waterfall (a popular paddling spot with tourists and features on the 5,000 Iraqi Dinar note).

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