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Kazakhstan posts

World's Worst Places: Top 10 Places In The World You Do Not Want To Visit In 2013

World's Worst Places: Top 10 Places In The World You Do Not Want To Visit In 2013 Dec 24th, 2012 at 10:00AM: I'm the kind of person who can conjure up an excuse to visit just about any place. I grew up in Buffalo, America's most unfairly maligned city, and so I identify with underdog destinations – places with bad weather, crime, ugly people, rude people, you name it and I probably still want to go there. But there are some places on this planet that even I do not want to visit. Places where you...

The Caucasus, Central Asia And British Airways

The Caucasus, Central Asia And British Airways Dec 14th, 2012 at 11:00AM: I traveled to Beirut earlier this year with bmi (British Midland International), the East Midlands-based airline partially absorbed into British Airways in the spring. My Beirut trip was meant to be the third installment in an ongoing series called "Far Europe and Beyond," which reached a premature end in the lead-up to the airline's sale to International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent of...

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair Of Uzbek Prostitutes, Part Four

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair Of Uzbek Prostitutes, Part Four Oct 11th, 2012 at 10:00AM: Read parts one, two and three of this story. Day Four I woke up in a sweat and was told by Marina that we had crossed into Turkmenistan, a country I had no transit visa for. The compartment was a white-hot crucible of heat that was exacerbated by the fact that none of the windows would open. The train stopped at a dusty little outpost and the conductor, Ermat, already drunk at 10 a.m.,...

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair Of Uzbek Prostitutes, Part Two

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair Of Uzbek Prostitutes, Part Two Oct 9th, 2012 at 10:00AM: Read Part One of this story here. Day Two We reached the Kazakh border before lunchtime and there was an unbelievable commotion as scores of merchants boarded the train while others threw big boxes through open windows. Two men barged into our compartment carrying boxes of produce and a vicious argument ensued as my travel companions tried to prevent the men from stacking their crates in our...

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair Of Uzbek Prostitutes, Part One

Train In Vain: Four Days With A Pair Of Uzbek Prostitutes, Part One Oct 8th, 2012 at 10:00AM: Read parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 of this story. After spending four sweltering, monotonous days on a dirty, cargo-laden train from Moscow to Bukhara, sharing a compartment with two Uzbek prostitutes, a Russian soldier and a capricious, alcoholic conductor prone to flashbacks from his days as a soldier in Afghanistan, I was more than ready to get off the damn train. But there was no timetable and no...

Space Tourists: a cinematic journey to the ISS (w/ Audio Interview)

Space Tourists: a cinematic journey to the ISS (w/ Audio Interview) Dec 25th, 2011 at 10:00AM: Space Tourists airs tonight on the Documentary Channel at 8pm & 11pm When Anousheh Ansari boarded the International Space Station on September 20th, 2006, she became the first self-funded female, the first Iranian citizen, and the fourth human overall to enter the Earth's orbit as a coveted 'space tourist'. After building and selling a large telecom business, Ansari had...

Introducing Far Europe and Beyond

Introducing Far Europe and Beyond Oct 17th, 2011 at 11:30AM: Far Europe and Beyond, a Gadling series in partnership with bmi (British Midland International) launches today. Europe's eastern borders cannot be defined simply. The western, northern, and southern perimeters are easy: The Atlantic, the Arctic, and the Mediterranean provide those boundaries, respectively. It's the eastern border that is more difficult to pinpoint. There are two basic...

Travel then and now: Travel to the USSR and GDR

Travel then and now: Travel to the USSR and GDR Mar 1st, 2011 at 3:30PM: This year is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union and 21 years since the reunification of Germany. While citizens of the USSR and GDR were unable to travel abroad and restricted in domestic travel, foreign travelers were permitted under a controlled environment. In the early nineties, if you were a foreigner looking to go abroad to the Eastern Europe or Central Asia, you called...

Russia pushes visa-free Russia-EU travel

Russia pushes visa-free Russia-EU travel Jun 2nd, 2010 at 12:30PM: At the 25th European Union-Russia summit in Rostov-on-Don, Russia yesterday proposed that both parties mutually abolish visa requirements. Currently, the two entities impose reciprocal visa requirements upon each other's citizens. In the name of improving business and tourist links, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that Russia is ready to drop its visa requirements of EU citizens. He...

Kazakhstan tries to sell its freezing capital

Kazakhstan tries to sell its freezing capital Dec 23rd, 2009 at 12:00PM: As I write you from my parents' home in the sub freezing winter wonderland of Minneapolis, I am pleased to report that this weather now apparently qualifies for envy. Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev made his annual speech yesterday, and attempted to lure diplomats to move to the country's capital city, Astana, on the basis of its face-breaking cold weather. "It only strengthens...

Keep busy with 44 travel ideas

Keep busy with 44 travel ideas Jan 10th, 2009 at 2:00PM: If the entire world is too much from which to choose, take a look at The 44 Places to Go in 2009 suggested by the New York Times. Some are obvious, such as Reykjavik, which was been on everyone's mind 2008. Others are easy, including Washington D.C. Our nation's capital has plenty of hotels (including the funky Hotel Helix, photo at right), great public transportation and access via two major...

One for the Road: Realities of Foreign Service Life

One for the Road: Realities of Foreign Service Life Nov 21st, 2007 at 9:30AM: Jessica Hayden had been married less than 3 months when she moved half way around the world with her new husband, and soon found herself in a tent in the middle of Kyrgyzstan, heavily sedated on pain killers and hooked up to a WWII style medical contraption. It sounds like some sort of extended honeymoon trip gone horribly wrong, but in fact, it was all part of Hayden's introduction to life as a...

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