Blog – My favourite travel stories of the week

Cruising down the river with statues that look like Vladimir Putin, discovering a multi-billion dollar playground capital in Kazakhstan and staring death in the face on a plane to Macau.
It’s these kind of stories that explain why I enjoy reading other people’s travel experiences when I can’t get away myself.
Here are my favourite travel blog posts from the last week.

Astana – The Dubai of Central Asia

I always enjoy reading about new travel destinations that I hadn’t heard of before, and that was the case with Astana in Kazakhstan.
‘Goats on the Road’ Nick and Dariece visited the oil rich city – after a lucky, last minute escape from Russia as their visas began to run out.
The modern capital cost $13billion dollars to build – and certainly looks impressive from the pictures in this blog post.

Video: Flight from Chiang Mai to Macau

Sometimes the journey makes the trip and this Nomadic Samuel post is a great example of that – even though it sounds like they nearly didn’t make it!
Loving the video as well; a great way of making the ordinary parts of travel more fun.

River cruise in Russia: In the wake of Peter the Great

Britain is ‘a small island no one listens to’ – according, apparently, to Russian official, Dmitry Peskov.
But then the Russians have always been inclined to tell stories that suit their versions of events – or at least this Telegraph article gives one incredible example of them doing so.
Teresa Levonian Cole’s post on her river cruise between Romanov St Petersburg and Moscow is an enticing piece on its own – the ‘Putin-dog’ lookalike is a wonderful image – but it is the back story that really caught my attention.
The murder of Tsarevich Dmitry, the eight-year-old son of Ivan the Terrible brought an end to the Rurik dynasty – and was covered up by Moscow as an accident, with Moscow investigators concluding he fell in the River Volga, accidentally stabbing himself – seven times.
A church bell was even exiled to Siberia for trying to claim he was murdered.
As Cole writes, ‘Russia is a country whose operatic complexity often calls on the suspension of disbelief’, but then we knew that already didn’t we, Mr Peskov.

Pictured: Astana in Kazakhstan.
Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

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