The Balkans
Light streams into the Osogovo Monastery from a high window illuminating the frescoes

The Balkans

On returning from Uzbekistan I realised I had a load of leave to use before the end of June otherwise I'd lose it. So after a quick search of places to go I opted for a trip to the Balkans - mainly North Macedonia with a small bit of Bulgaria and Kosovo through in for good measure. It was a tough trip in many respects with a lot of driving and single night stays in each location, but the landscape and many UNESCO sites were interesting to see. However it was frustrating…

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Uzbekistan
The view over the old part of Khiva from the watch tower on the city walls.

Uzbekistan

Part of the ancient silk road between China and Europe. The ‘stans are somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a while and there’s still a few others to explore. Many Persian cities took advantage of the commerce between East and West as the Silk Road developed and in Uzbekistan Bukhara and Samarkand eventually became extremely wealthy cities. In 327 BC Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great conquered the region, followed by 7th century conquests by the Araba who brought Islam to Uzbekistan. In the 13th century Genghis Kahn invaded and the region changed with culture…

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Sudan
View out over the ironstone covered hills in the desert

Sudan

Sudan, a country with more pyramids than Egypt but which few people travel to. The country is full of amazingly well-preserved sandstone temples, tombs engraved with images of the pharaohs and pyramids, including the stunning Royal Necropolis of Meroe. At times this trip felt like you were a Victorian era explorer, cresting a dune to find a temple complex in-front of you and feeling like you were the first to discover it!

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