Dec 092013

So, I had a weekend in Dushanbe, and the good fortune to have a seasonably unusual heatwave….highs reached 22-24C which for late November was way above normal.  The one bad thing about the Hyatt as a hotel is location.  It’s a good mile out of the edge of the main city, which means you’re more or less trapped there in the evenings.  I’ll get to the hotel a bit more later, but on Saturday I got up relatively early and ended up walking 14 miles all around Dushanbe.  It was a great day for walking, even though the sites…well not a ton to see.  I’m going to give the highlights, mainly in photo form:

Statue outside the national museum:


Entrance of the National Museum:


Another statue outside the National Museum:

IMG_1627 Continue reading »

Nov 232013

Having just returned from 5 consecutive weekends on the west coast thanks to the United $10 fare sale, I was ready to be home. Seriously I was. Especially since I had 7 visas to sort for my New Years trip to Africa coming up. Work, however, had other plans for me.

No Thanksgiving this year, but rest assured I was going to have Turkey. As in the country, not the bird.

It actually started as a week-long trip to Tajikistan…and the easiest way there was through Istanbul. Then, a week in Moscow got added on. Now, mind you, last time I was in Moscow was 1988 when it was still part of the Soviet Union, and it was my 3rd country visited after Canada and the UK. I’m going to guess Moscow is a bit different 25 years later.

I’d planned on taking a few days of vacation after that, to visit 2 of my 3 remaining countries in Europe, when fate intervened I was needed in Montenegro. Score! This would also mean an overnight in Vienna. …and business would finish on Friday, allowing me a weekend connection in Serbia at no charge. That will leave poor little Andorra as my last country to visit in Europe.

I’m going to try and keep up with this in real time. Just managed to secure 10 visas in a little over 3 weeks, which is some sort of personal record, and especially impressive giving they included DR Congo, Angola, Russia, and several other places in West Africa where I’m headed in just five weeks!  Then, it’s back home for a grand total of five days, before a few day Christmas with the family, and then off to West Africa for two+ weeks.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep up in real time. The flight routing is:



Off we go!