I wonder, How many Georgians are drinking beers and clinking to Russia, Putin, and Medvedev right now?
Category Archive: Caucasus
From mosques and mountains to hats and limousines, the often unusual sights and scenery of the Caucasus and Central Asia always kept us guessing. If you check out the categories and keep reading, you’ll see why. Continue Reading »
No place takes the logic out of logistics, from pillar to post, like the former Soviet Union. Inspired by our own experiences, the following entries are in no logical order. Let’s dig in.
Worst Toilet: Svaneti Region of Georgia
Competition in this category was exceptionally fierce, but the nod goes to Svaneti. Although we highly recommend a visit to the region, we suggest you pack your hip waders for visits to the outhouse. Continue Reading »
I thought Americans liked to travel in comfort. I don’t know why you take a marshrutka.
You should take the marshrutka. There you will meet the real people.
– Two competing local views on whether or not we should subject ourselves to long-distance rides on marshrutka minivans, the dominant form of public transport in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Continue Reading »
Welcome to the first and only Golden Camel Awards, a camel’s eye view of the best and worst that Central Asia and the Caucasus have to offer!
While most people don’t travel to the Caucasus and Central Asia solely to explore the cuisine, we had our share of pleasant eating experiences there. We also occasionally felt the wrath of a post-Soviet culinary hangover. If you are interested to know what constitutes a good eating experience (heavenly bread, drinkable vodka, and elusive vegetables) or what continues to haunt our food dreams, read on. Continue Reading »
Your trip across the Caspian may provide some of the scariest and most fulfilling moments of your entire journey.
– A veteran journalist we met in Tbilisi, Georgia who had seen it all in the former Soviet Union.
Although we are posting this from Pingyao, China, we dial back a few clicks to the beginning of our journey in Central Asia in an attempt to adequately address the images in our mind and the notes in our journals.
Oddly shaped like a damaged index finger or a distressed plume of smoke, the Caspian Sea pumps out oil and caviar in the midst of the surrounding desert and extreme landscape. Continue Reading »
Before this journey, our experience with the disputed regions in the Caucasus – Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh – amounted to a few news articles and flashpoint body-count news tickers drifting across the bottom of our television screens.
Something bad had happened, people had died, but we never truly appreciated or understood the details. Continue Reading »
Given that Azerbaijani culture and language is Turkic in origin, it’s not surprising that its cuisine also carries a strong Turkish influence. Doner kebabs are so prevalent on Baku’s streets that you’d swear they were Azerbaijani by origin.
One thing is certain though. Azerbaijanis like their meat, with shashlik (barbecue) as the style of choice. One meal took us on the tour of the animal kingdom with seven different types of shashlik Continue Reading »