K Johnson rode through treacherous mountains in Georgia, with constant mini-avalanches and rain pouring down, in search of the town of Vardzia. Too bad there are two Vardzias in Georgia ...
After a ten-day boat ride -- that was supposed to take four -- K Johnson arrived in Georgia, the Caucasus country with the best food. As long as you can handle a shot of booze with breakfast ...
You can feel the tension in the Iranian town of Piranshahr. Here the police are more alert and better armed than in the rest of the country. They maintain a larger buffer around themselves, keeping locals at arm’s length in the crowded market places and the chaotic streets. This region contains a majority Kurdish population […]
Catch up on part 1 (which includes an explanation of Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian tourists getting arrested for taking photos of tanks and eager tour guide Ashot’s #1 less for taking foreigners around Nagorno-Karabakh) here. By 10am next morning I was crammed in the back seat of Ashot’s Lada with the two Japonski, as Ashot referred to them […]
K Johnson went traipsing through Nagorno-Karabakh, a de-facto state closely allied with Armenia, and a mighty thorn in the side of Azerbaijan who will refuse any traveller entry to their country if they show evidence of having been there.
Crimea is a beach holiday destination for many from the former USSR, but it's the site of a former nuclear power plant that most captured K Johnson's attention -- and frustration.
Transistria, a breakaway republic located between Moldova and Ukraine, only allows a 24-hour tourist visa. K Johnson spends his 24 hours wondering how such a eerie country can be so well-off compared to its neighbours.
When crossing from Germany into the Czech Republic you notice a marked decrease in the quality of the road’s surface. It's a bumpy journey for all sorts of reasons.
This was underground Riga, in the literal sense of the word underground. We had come down, out of the rain, into this ex-Soviet bunker, through the massive blast door and into a foyer. There was a constant, all pervasive smell of gun powder in this facility.
The building is little more than a façade and houses a massive dome used to shield the entrance of an underground military complex from a nuclear strike on Moscow.