My name is Guy Morris (O 2012-17) and I am currently on a year out after my A-levels. Alongside Rob Hartwell and Will Hayward (both R 2012-17), I intend to travel by car through northern Europe spending time in the Baltic States especially. From there we intend to get out of the car and travel by public transport into Russia visiting St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) and seeing all the sites, such as Red Square in Moscow and the Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex in Stalingrad (especially exciting for three keen military historians). From Volgograd we will continue our travels through southern Kazakhstan to Almaty.
As a mountain sport enthusiast I want to go and see the famous hill sports haven of Shymbulak. After this the hope is to travel to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and then head on down to Osh in the south of the country hoping to spent time in the mountains there, that are renowned for their hiking paths and beauty. Then on to Tajikistan where we plan to spend a week visiting places such as Khujand and Dushanbe. Leaving Tajikistan we will visit Samarkand, Uzbekistan. I suspect this will be my own personal highlight as it was once the city at the centre of the world’s first great trade route, the Silk Road (something of which I have no doubt you are all already aware!) and as such has some truly spectacular sites, culture, and history. After Samarkand we plan to travel up the length of Uzbekistan potentially visiting the Aral Sea (or what’s left of it…) and on the way back, into Kazakhstan to catch a ferry from Aktau across the Caspian Sea to Baku in Azerbaijan.
Initially we intended to travel on land all the way around the Caspian Sea however visas for Turkmenistan and Iran proved too tricky due to the requirements of letters of invitation. From Baku we will travel into Georgia to Tbilisi and then into Turkey. After travelling through Turkey we then intend to reunite with our car and drive back to the UK.
The aim of our trip is not only to experience the rich and diverse cultures that come from these areas that we, as Brits, are not often exposed to, but also to challenge ourselves in ways that we have not been before. In total we plan for it to take about two and a half months. Our main logistical problems are accommodation along the way and what we do with the car (pictured!) whilst we are travelling by public transport. At the moment we fear we will have to leave it in Estonia and get ourselves back to it unless we find someone willing to move it to somewhere in South Eastern Europe?? We would be very grateful indeed if anyone could offer any solutions to this problem or indeed any accommodation along the way. We are very low maintenance and very friendly people!
If you can help in any way at all, please contact Will Hayward at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guy, Rob, and Will