Category Archives: Travel Tips

My Failed Trip to Pyramiden in Svalbard

Fact:  I never went to Svalbard to see polar bears.  I actually went to Svalbard to visit Pyramiden, which is an abandoned Soviet mining town on Spitsbergen. Pyramiden is home to the world’s most northern Lenin statue and just houses a unique side of Soviet history- one I am deeply enamored by.  I was very busy with […]

Kostanay, Kazakhstan: Spending Winter in ‘Almost’ Siberia

Kostanay, Kazakhstan is almost Siberia.  Almost.  It lies very close to the Russian border and in the northern Kazakh steppe.  There is nothing for miles and miles…and miles…and miles. Summer is probably beautiful there.  I imagine parks open with ferris wheels spinning and kids laughing while eating their pink cotton candy.  I imagine teenagers sitting […]

Visiting the Uplistsikhe Cave Complex in Georgia

Close to Gori, Georgia lies the elaborate cave complex called Uplistsikhe.  Uplistsikhe, which literally means “Fortress of the Lord“, sprawls out over around eight hectares (about twenty acres).  It was built in the B.C. times, but the town didn’t reach its height until the 9th – 11th centuries A.D. when more than 20,000 people then […]