Kharkiv Cable Car: A Soviet Ride in Primary Colors

We rode the Kharkiv cable car on Wednesday, the 25th of August, 2021. I guess technically, it’s a gondola lift or an aerial tramway or something like that (Spanish: teleférico) and I’ve seen the Kharkiv one referred to even as a ‘zip line‘ (which it is absolutely not), I’m gonna keep calling it a cable car because it feels right. Learning About the Existence of a Cable Car in Kharkiv My friend Nina from Roaming Pencil hails from Kharkiv. When I told her we were going to her old city, she mentioned a cable car as one of the thingsContinue reading

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Chernihiv to Kharkiv via Sumy by Thumb (Ukraine)

These events happened on the 19th and 20th of August, 2021. We were hitchhiking in Ukraine. The first day, we hitchhiked from Chernihiv to Sumy. On the second day, we finished our trip from Sumy to Kharkiv.  The Plan Back in Kyiv, I really wanted to make a visit to Chernihiv and Slavutych. We booked five days in an Airbnb in Chernihiv, left one day open, and then booked an Airbnb for two weeks in Kharkiv. Everything was already plotted from Kyiv and this was the most pre-planning – three weeks ahead – we’d done since the start ofContinue reading

Celebrating My Birthday in Kyiv, Again! (30th)

When booking Ukraine, I knew that I was gonna celebrate my 30th birthday in Kyiv. This happens to also be the same town where I celebrated my 22nd birthday back in 2013 during my first medium-sized hitchhiking trip. A few things have changed: I’m not a happy single anymore but a happy partnered individual. And as a partnered individual I am also not hyper-poor and on the brink of developing scurvy anymore. I believe they call this ‘progress’. Jokes aside, quite a lot has changed. My interests have changed. And though I think getting blind drunk, getting banged on theContinue reading

Well Hello, Kyiv?! Uzbekistan to Ukraine (Semi-Live Blog)

These events happened on Sunday, the 25th and Monday the 26th of July, 2021. We hoped to fly from Islam Karimov Tashkent International Airport (TAS), Uzbekistan to Boryspil International Airport (KBP) nearby Kyiv, Ukraine. I’m trying to update this blog as a sort of semi-live blog while on the move. Quick update because I need to sleep. We arrived well in Kyiv but the long wait for check-in to our apartment was excruciating. Peace out I’m gonna catch some zzz’s before finishing this Monday, 26th of July: Shattered in Kyiv Ugh Train to Kyiv, killing time The train ride isContinue reading

Eat, Pray, Plov: Trying (+ Failing) to Be a Vegetarian in Uzbekistan

Jonas and I spent 30 days in Uzbekistan. Though since April 2020 I consider myself mostly a vegetarian, he’s more flexible and sometimes eats meat and fish. But this is about my eating habits and struggles to be a vegetarian in Uzbekistan. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan and have been to Uzbekistan, I’d love to hear your experiences and tips if you found something that worked for you. You can comment at the bottom of this article. Other vegetarians and vegans can then read your replies. Trigger Warning: there will be pictures of food with meat in this articleContinue reading

Kosmonavtlar: Hands Down the Best Station of Tashkent Metro

Kosmonavtlar is a metro station in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It’s the blue line (O’zbekiston yo’li) out of 3.5 active lines of Tashkent Metro. Taking photos inside the exquisite – often Soviet-era – metro stations in Tashkent was illegal until June 2018. Ever since loads of photos and videos of beautiful stations have popped up on the internet. However, I’d like to draw your attention to the best one: Kosmonavtlar (Russian: Космонавтов)—or ‘Cosmonauts’ in English. During the first 16 days I spent in Tashkent, I visited a lot of metro stations. But somehow I only found out about Kosmonavtlar a few daysContinue reading

The Cutest Nameless + Abandoned Observatory in Samarkand

One completely spontaneous find in Samarkand was this adorably small abandoned observatory in Central Park (Uzbek: Markaziy Bog’—Russian: Центральный парк). We walked past it one evening (19th of July) on the outside and I snapped some photos. Since the best restaurant for vegetarians – Old City Restaurant – in Samarkand is located a stone’s throw away from Central Park, I knew we’d be back. Here’s a Google Satellite view of the observatory where you can clearly see the observatory’s round metal roof: From the ground behind the fence, it looked much like an abandoned observatory, but I couldn’t be sure.Continue reading

How to Climb the Minaret of the Ulugh Beg Madrasah (Registan)

Climbing the minaret of the Ulugh Beg Madrasah of the Samarkand Registan is not something that’s officially offered. I think this is one of these things you can still do now, but in a few years they will probably put this under lock and key and you can’t do it anymore. I am aware that by writing about this online, I might contribute to the early demise of this option. But it was the best thing we did at the Registan and I consider my blog our little secret and not a mega-influential thing. Here’s how to climb the minaret.Continue reading

Xoja Ahror Complex + Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah in Samarkand

Besides the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah in Samarkand, there’s one that’s much more famous in Bukhara. I wrote this post to help people find this beautiful and underrated madrasah in Samarkand. Continue reading to find out how to go there and what the entry prices are or scroll down to “in short”. Why is the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah in Samarkand So Hard to Find? The short answer? SEO If you Google for the Nadir Divan-Begi Madrasah in English, you will only find the madrasah of the same name in Bukhara. It’s much more famous than the one in Samarkand, which isContinue reading