For a full account of our adventures on the Georgian Military Road, and the rails, border towns and train compartments between Vladikavkaz (Russia) and Astana (Kazakhstan), see Richie’s blog.
Total distance travelled: 3,800 km
Total number of changes: 7
Time taken: Four and a half days
Adventure Factor: High!
The Georgian Military Road: Tbilisi to Kazbegi
high places near the Jvari Pass, 2379m
the bumpy mashutka ride is worth it for the views
vintage transport in Kazbegi
rained-out hiking to the Gergeti Trinity Churth. Any m’rooms about?
ella-mental: rock, wind, ice and eagles!
Mt Kazbek (5,033m)
At the Border – Kazbegi to Vladikavkaz
praying for dear life
a loaded Lada – dropped at the Georgian/Russia border
thumbs out for a lift across the border – no pedestrians allowed
uninspired border architecture
on the Russian side of the border
Inside the Carriage – 4 nights on the rails
still life – snacks & instant noodle paraphernalia
samovar – our saviour
catching up on sleep
steppe of western Kazakhstan
waiting for the train, Askaraiskaia
platform life, near to Volgograd
smoked fish, Russian speciality
The People – unexpected help arrives!
lift in a Lada from the border to Vladikavkaz
Sam and Dmitry, one of many guardian angels!
sharing food and photographs
a new Uzbek friend, inspired by a photograph of Australia
Richie meets a Kazakh geologist specialising in oil exploration
our new Uzbek friends scrutinising photos on their way home to Tashkent
‘the circle of bewilderment’: Nina and Sam encircled on the platform at Askaraiskaia
I wholeheartedly recommend this route east to China to anyone seeking an alternative to the Tran-Siberian or Silk Road-route through Iran and Pakistan – especially if you manage to pre-arrange visas in your home country (more on this in the next blog). Hello China, here we come!
ps. It’s snowing here in Astana. The coldest capital in the world!