Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2014

For many, many years the wonder and mystery of silk was unknown to most of the world. It was not until the expansion of the Roman Empire that silk was introduced to the world at large. As the Romans conquered surrounding territories, they came in contact with silk, and were instantly fascinated with its soft texture and attractiveness. Silk soon became one of the most sought-after products in the Roman Empire, and the Romans began searching for the place where this amazing cloth was made. This led to the discovery of the Silk Road, a series of interconnected routes within China and Eastern Asia that were used for trading and travel between the various civilizations. The Silk Road soon came to be one of the primary routes between Western Europe and Asia, and within Asia itself.

At Go Russia, we offer a tour of the incredible cities and landscapes along the Silk Road, including areas of China, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Let’s explore some of the amazing destinations along this tour.

Ancient History

Some of the most ancient cities in the world are located along the Silk Road, including Samarkand, Merv, Khiva, Bukhara, and Bishkek. One of the first stops along the route will be the ancient city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. Samarkand has been placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List because of its importance as one of the central locations along the Silk Road. Because of the many different cultures that passed through the city on their way to and from China, Samarkand became home to many different religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. Today, the main religion of the inhabitants is Islam, and some of the most significant architecture in Muslim history can be found there. The city still hangs on to its ancient roots, with the practices of embroidery, weaving, and ceramics still an important part of daily life.

One of the next stops along the tour is the city of Bukhara, one of the seven holiest Islamic cities in the world. This too is one of the oldest cities in the world, with its location along the Silk Road making it a center of culture, trade, and religion. The entire city can be seen as one giant museum, with its many, many exquisite examples of Muslim architecture. Its ancient mosques and minarets transfer you back into time, when this city was a central hub for the many travelers along the Silk Road in search of silk and other valuable materials from the East.

1

Later on in the tour will bring us to the city of Dunhuang in the Gansu province of Western China. With evidence of inhabitance dating back to 2,000 B.C., this city is one of the oldest in the world. It was a critical defensive city in China, with the Great Wall of China extending down to the city, as well as an important stop along the Silk Road. Located in the Gobi Desert, the city was an important stop along the Silk Road, as it is situated by an oasis, which would give the Silk Road travellers a welcome respite from the harsh desert landscape.

One of the most fascinating sites in the countryside around Dunhuang are the Mogao Caves or Mogao Grottoes. These are a series of caves that house one of the most important and largest collections of Buddhist history, spanning nine Chinese dynasties; the collection includes statues, manuscripts, and wall paintings. Because of a strict ban on photography in the Magao Caves, the only way to actually lay eyes on this history is to actually visit the caves themselves. On our Silk Road tour, we will spend a day visiting the caves and exploring the amazing historical collection.

Another fascinating sight nearby to Dunhuang is a collection of sand dunes called the “rumbling” or “singing” sand dunes, which is derived from the sound that is made as the wind passes over the dunes. The reason for the noise remains a mystery, which adds to the mystique and aura of the area. The dunes overlook a beautiful body of water called the Crescent Lake, creating a striking landscape that contrasts with the surrounding desert.

1

We’ve only touched the surface of all the amazing cities and landscapes along our tour of the Silk Road. These places spark the imagination and give a rich sense of the incredible history in this part of the world. Book with us today to reserve your spot on our next Silk Road tour!

Read Full Post »

You may be planning your summer holiday or getaway for 2014 and having a hard time finding something different. If you’ve experienced trips to the beaches and mountains and are looking for something different, we think you’ve found it. At Go Russia, we’re committed to bringing you the most unique tours around. From lands that people only dream of seeing to sites that are absolutely breathtaking, our Russian tours have got it all. But if you’re really looking for something new and exciting, think about booking one of our Russian adventure tours. With countless different adventures to choose from and an exciting daily itinerary, you’ll be in full adventure-mode.

5,642 Meters Above the Earth

Let’s start with one of our most adventurous tours, climbing the highest mountain in Europe. We invite you to join our guide and work to climb Mount Elbrus – one of the world’s Seven Summits. If you’re a lover of adventure and pushing your physical limits, you’ll want to conquer this huge mountain. This tour is recommended for people with climbing and hiking experience. Each day during the tour, you’ll work your way up to acclimatization and the highest peak of Mount Elbrus. Your second day with us will take you to the village of Terskol, where we’ll prepare you to make your climb. Each day the hikes include ample time for acclimatization and comfortable hotel stays. The southern route the tour takes is designed to be the most appealing high-altitude ascent with a moderate amount of incline. This climb requires a good acclimatization but very little difficulties. Finally on day 8, after safety precautions and acclimatization, you can attempt the summit. A celebration dinner follows in town to herald your adventure skills!

1

 

Wild at Heart

If you’re an animal lover, we’ve got a great tour that’s sure to thrill you. Join us for our horse riding tour through the Siberian forests to the Mountain Lakes. This tour is one of the most perfect ways to see Russia and everything it has to offer. You’ll be transported back to a simpler time, where the main mode of transportation was accomplished on horseback. This tour is perfect for the wild at heart – those that love adventure miles away from civilization. It’s just the right amount of relaxation and adventure. This tour begins in Moscow, the booming center of Russia. You’ll then travel with your guided group to Altai – the heart of Siberia. Altai is the heart of untouched Russian land, full of adventure and beauty. You’ll journey on horseback through largely untouched areas of forests, meadows, and mountain passes. These lands have some of the richest Russian history – where genuine descendants of Genghis Khan can still be found. You don’t need to be an expert horseback rider, but we do recommend this tour for people who are in good shape, as the changing altitudes and terrain can be a challenge.

 

The Best of the Best

Our last featured tour is one that comes with a rare, special event. This tour is referred to as our best of Kamchatka – Bears and Volcanoes. What makes this tour so special is the timing. The only time this particular tour is available is during the month of August – and for good reason. This is the very best time of the year to witness so many natural species in one location. This tour includes a trip to Kurilskoye Lake, which is one of the most impressive lakes in the whole world. Kurilskoye Lake lives in the crater of an ancient volcano. If that’s not amazing enough, this lake is recognized as the biggest spawning ground for pink salmon in the entire world. Naturally, the large number of pink salmon attracts some hungry visitors – brown bears. You’ll be able to watch the massive pink salmon swimming while the bears attempt to hunt them. During this time of year, the bears are unconcerned with humans, as they are too busy focusing on fishing. If this isn’t enough, the tour also features visits to more active volcanoes and natural geysers. You can even take a relaxing bath in the thermal hot springs! Pack your bags and get ready for an amazing 12-day trip this August!

1

 

We hope you enjoyed our feature of just a few of our adventure tours. If you’re really looking for a unique and exciting vacation, Go Russia can help. Our guided tours will help you travel through untouched Russian lands, exploring and learning the whole way. Get in contact with one of our travel experts today to book your dream Russian adventure tour.

Read Full Post »