14 Stunning destinations to visit on our Long Way Home trip

Parthian Fortresses of Nisa, Turkmenistan - photo by Justin Barton - Fotopedia

About the Trip

The Long Way Home aka the Hitchhiking Cultural Relay” is our next 10-11 month hitchhiking trip from Iran to Europe, during which we want to visit 12 countries and cover 25,000 km by thumb.

Our travel project is currently participating in a competition and you can help us win full sponsorship for the trip. All you need to do is:

From Iran to Europe - The Long Way Home jitchhiking trip. Stunning destinations1) Follow this link.
2) Press the pink “oddaj głos” button
3) Insert your email address
4) Click on the first link you get in the confirmation email sent to you (check your Spam box, it’s usually there).

Read more about the trip here.

.

We will be really grateful for all your help. You can vote until the end of February.

14 Stunning destinations to visit on our Long Way Home trip

.

.

Gonbad-e Qabus Tower, Iran - photo by Wikipedia. Stunning destinationsGonbad-e Qabus tower
Gonbad-e Qabus, Iran

Gonbad-e Qabus tower is an enormous 72 m (236 ft) decagon building with a conic roof. It was built in 1006 AD on the orders of the Ziyarid Amir Shams ol-Ma’āli Qabus ibn Wushmgir (شمس المعالي قابوس بن وشمگير), although its original purpose remains shrouded in mystery. Robert Byron, the British travel writer and architectural critic, decalred that ‘the Gonbad-e Qabus ranks with the great buildings of the world.’

.

___________________________

Parthian Fortresses of Nisa, Turkmenistan - photo by Justin Barton - Fotopedia. Stunning destinationsParthian Fortresses of Nisa
Nisa, Turkmenistan

The Ancient city of Nisa is located near the modern-day Bagir village, 18 km southwest of Ashgabat. Legend has is that it was first capital of the Parthian empire and is reputedly the royal necropolis of the Parthian kings, although there has never been enough evidence to prove the theory. Excavations have revealed numerous and substance buildings, mausoleums and shrines after the original city was dstoryed by an earthquake in the 1st century.

___________________________

Bukhara, Uzbekistan - by Christophe Chenevier - Fotopedia. Stunning destinationsHistoric Centre of Bukhara
Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Bukhara is more than 2,000 years old and is a city-museum, with more than 140 monuments of architecture. It was original a major trading route on the silk road is the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia. Some of the more notable of the breathtaking monuments include the famous tomb of Ismail Samani, a masterpiece of 10th century Muslim architecture, and a large number of 17th-century madrases.

___________________________

Pamin Mountains, Tajik National Park, Tadjikistan - photo by Wikipedia. Stunning destinationsTajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs)
Tajik / Pamir National Park, Tajikistan

The stunning Tajik National Park stretches over 2,5 million hectares, or around 18% of the total size of Tajikistan. It lies at the centre of “Pamir Knot”, a meeting point of the highest mountain ranges on the Eurasian continent, and consists of  high plateaux in the east and soaring peaks of over 7,000m to the west. It also contains the longest valley glacier outside the Polar region, with more than 1,085 glaciers, 170 rivers and more than 400 lakes.

___________________________

Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly, Kazakhstan - photo by Commons Wikimedia. Stunning destinationsPetroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly
Semirechye, Kazakhstan

Set around the lush Tamgaly Gorge, 120 km to northwest of the capital Almaty and amidst the vast, arid Chu-Ili mountains. The site is a remarkable concentration of around 5,000 petroglyphs (rock carvings) dating from the second half of the 2000 BC all the way through to the the beginning of the 20th century. The majority of the 5000 petroglyphs are housed in the main canyon, but there are also a number of side canyons to be explored, some containing ancient tombs from the Bronze and Iron Ages. In the central canyon, are what are believed to be altars, suggesting that these places were used for sacrificial offerings.

___________________________

 ForbiddenGardens-TerraCottaArmy-Mausoleum-of-the-First-Qin-Emperor-Xian-China-photo-by-Wikipedia. Stunning destinationsMausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
Xi’an, China

The site of Mausoleum of Qin, the first unifier of China, was not discovered until 1974 and finds the emperor surrounded by his famous terracotta warriors, at the centre of a huge complex designed to mirror the urban plan of his capital, Xianyan. The wonderfully crafted warriors are all different; with their horses, chariots and weapons, and remain a masterpiece in realism. There are still thousands of statues expected to be unearthed, as archaeological work continues on the site so who knows what further wonders are waiting to be discovered.

___________________________

Great Wall of China - photo by chasingtheflo - Fotopedia. Stunning destinationsGreat Wall of China
Northern China

The Great Wall is a series of fortifications that stretch from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. Originally several walls were constructed, dating as far back as the 7th century BC, which were subsequently joined together under Qin Shi Huang in 220 B.C to form a united defence system against invasions from the north. Construction continued up until the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), when the Great Wall became the world’s largest military structure. Recent studies on the wall have concluded that it is made up of 6,259 km (3,889 mi) sections of actual wall, 359 km (223 mi) of trenches and 2,232 km (1,387 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers.

___________________________

Mongolian Yurt in Orkhon Valley, Mongolia - photo by Fotopedia. Stunning destinationsOrkhon Valley Cultural Landscape
Central Mongolia

The 121,967-ha Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape encompasses an extensive area of pastureland on both banks of the Orkhon River and includes numerous archaeological remains dating back to the 6th century. The site also contains Kharkhorum, the 13th & 14th century capital of Genghis Khan’s vast Empire. Today, the grasslands are still grazed by Mongolian nomadic pastoralists.

___________________________

Lake Baikal, Russia - by Simmo1024 - Fotopedia. Stunning destinationsLake Baikal
Siberia, Russia

Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest lake in the world and contains 20% of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserve. Its age and isolation have produced one of the world’s richest and most unusual freshwater fauna, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science.

.

___________________________

Kazan Kremlin, Russia - photo by Wikipedia. Stunning destinationsKazan Kremlin
Kazan, Russia

The Kazan Kremlin was built at the behest of Ivan the Terrible on the ruins of the former castle of Kazan khans and is only surviving Tatar fortress in Russia, and as such it is an important place of pilgrimage. The Kazan Kremlin consists of an outstanding group of historic buildings dating from the 16th to 19th centuries, which have integrated the remains of earlier structures of the 10th – 16th centuries.

___________________________

Tallinn, Estonia - photo by Mirari Erdoiza - Fotopedia. Stunning destinationsHistoric Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn
Tallinn, Estonia

The Old Town of Tallinn dates back to the 13th century when a castle was built by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order. It developed as a major centre of the Hanseatic League, and its wealth is demonstrated by the opulence of the public buildings (the churches in particular) and the domestic architecture of the merchants’ houses.

___________________________

Riga-Latvia-photo-by-Wikipedia. Stunning destinationsHistoric Centre of Riga
Riga, Latvia

Riga, a major trading port of the Hanseatic League, grew in prosperity between the  13th–15th centuries and although much of the architecture of this period was destroyed by fire and war, a major rebuilding project was undertaken during the 19th century, leaving the medieval town surrounded by suburbs containing some of the finest art nouveau buildings in Europe.

___________________________

Curonian Spit, Lithuania - photo by Wikipedia. Stunning destinationsCuronian Spit
Baltic Sea coast, Lithuania

Human habitation of this elongated sand dune peninsula, 98 km long and 0.4-4 km wide, dates back to prehistoric times. Its survival to the present day has been made possible only as a result of ceaseless human efforts to combat the erosion of the Spit, dramatically illustrated by continuing stabilisation and reforestation projects.

___________________________

Central Market, Zamość, Poland - photo by Wikipedia. Stunning destinationsOld City of Zamość
Zamość, Poland

Zamość was founded in the 16th century on the trade route linking western and northern Europe with the Black Sea. It was modelled on Italian theories of the ‘ideal city’ and is a perfect late-16th century Renaissance town that contains a large number of buildings that combine Italian and central European architectural traditions.

___________________________

Do you have any more recommendations for places we should visit on the way?
We are eager to hear your suggestions & travel experiences!

.

written by: Jon

You May Also Like

4 comments