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Almaty or Baby, It’s cold outside

Almaty or Baby, It’s cold outside

The City of Almaty or Alma Ata meaning „Apple Grandfather“ dates back to the 10th Century before Christ, but the name Almatu only appeared around 1285 A.D. When traveling by train through Kazakhstan, it’s not the most beautiful parts of towns you’ll see. I guess it’s like everywhere – the buildings look kind of run down and there is rubbish lying around. The upmarket quarters of cities are usually not facing the train tracks. So after three days of train…

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Crazy Train – 62 hours from Saratov to Almaty

Crazy Train – 62 hours from Saratov to Almaty

Long journey, long post, so for those readers only after useful information first things first: If you are considering this trip you’re probably asking yourself the visa-question. The answer is: No, you don’t need a double-entry Visa for Russia, even though the train meanders between the borders and goes back to Russia for a short time after it has already passed the border to Kazakhstan. A single-entry Visa is absolutely fine.

Saratov on the Volga

Saratov on the Volga

We only stopped at Saratov to take the train to Almaty, leaving from Saratov station every other day on its crazy-long more than 60 hours (!!) journey. To prepare ourselves mentally for that, and to relax after the 12 hour train ride from Moscow we decided to stay for three days.  What is there to say about Saratov? It’s definetly off the beaten path. No one speaks English here, not in our Hotel Polina, nor anywhere else really. But that’s…

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Sheki – last stop before Georgia!

Sheki – last stop before Georgia!

After two days in Lahic we arrived at our next destination, Sheki – or Seki, Sheke, Shakki, Shaka, Shekin, Shakne, Shakkan. Well, all is correct, for historical reasons, would take too long to explain. With its 64,000 some inhabitants Sheki counts as a city. But it feels more like a small town, which is nice for us. Sheki is especially known for its carawanserei. Originally there were seven of them around, two are still there. One has been made into…

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Quiet little mountain town – Lahic

Quiet little mountain town – Lahic

  From lovely Baku we started our journey towards Georgia. Lahic >Wiki< was the first stop we made. It’s a little mountain village, where tourists go to see traditional copper artisans. It’s surrounded by beautiful mountain scenerey, making it perfect for hiking and riding. In theory. Unfortunately, the brilliant weather we had when we arrived there didn’t last. We got caught in the worst thunderstorm with hail in the evening of our first day. That kind of made us chicken-hearted,…

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