E alla fine ci siamo arrivati anche noi. Ak-Bajtal. Non potevano trovargli un nome più solenne. Il passo, in russo "perevàl", più alto di tutta la Pamir Highway. Chiaramente la carretta su cui eravamo, che trasportava due pecore sul tetto che belavano dal freddo e dalla disperazione, si è rotta proprio a pochi metri dal punto più alto del valico, in questo scenario surreale - un deserto coperto di neve. La vita che ricopre di bianco la morte. Sono scesa dall'auto e ho fatto questa foto con la stessa sensazione con cui facevo le foto quando ero piccola e mio nonno, a 7 anni, mi regalò la mia prima macchinetta fotografica. La prima foto che scattai fu a delle oche in gita alle elementari. Ecco, in questo momento ho schiacciato il pulsante con quel brivido di speranza, paura e desiderio di quando sentivi il clic dell'otturatore che si alzava e avevi solo 23 foto rimanenti. Dovevi usarle al meglio, volevi che racchiudessero il massimo dell'esperienza che stavi vivendo. Davanti all'Ak-Bajtal speravo che la foto venisse bene per non dimenticarmi mai quel momento. Avevo paura che qualcosa potesse andare storto e io perdessi quell'attimo per sempre. Avevo il desiderio travolgente di conservare questa foto per mostrarla come una prova incancellabile che sì, ce l'avevo fatta. C'ero stata anche io. Ero arrivata fin lì.
Di solito non amo questo genere di foto, lo ammetto. Ma quel giorno ho fatto un'eccezione. Questa l'ho fatta con anni di trepidazione tutti concentrati nel dito che premeva il pulsante, un milione di fantasie pregresse, e il chiaro intento di mostrarla ai nipotini davanti a un camino acceso quando sarò vecchia. "Qui è quando la nonna valicò l'Ak-Bajtal...", dirò davanti all'album. E allora sarò felice esattamente come lo ero in quel momento, nel sole e nel vento, a 4655m.
Ma io adesso sono curiosa di sapere di voi. Vi ricordate ancora qual è stata la primissima foto che avete fatto nella vostra vita? Dove eravate? A cosa stavate pensando?
| 🇹🇲| What a time in Turkmenistan, one of most isolated and intriguing nations in the world. I have now been to all seven ‘Stans’ and am grateful for the dozens of Central Asia memories. Who else has visited to the region? •• 📸: @hifriendshipleague
I often feel so gratified and happy that by exploring the world with a bicycle you get to be so in touch with the world around you, the many people you pass on the way and the true feeling of connection it gives you. Meeting these two was one of those specific memories that has stuck with me ever since it happened. A father and daughter, on an epic conquest to reach new (literal, 4655 meter) heights on their bicycles together. Packed like proper adventurers and with a huge, contagious smiles across their faces we met them on a stretch of Tajik gravel road, and admired their courageous decision to take their bikes here without a lot of research, seeing that not many knew about it in Australia. I got to ask them why they chose to cycle and their reply is one for the books. Freedom and fitness, reaching places by your own strength and, as Pete cleverly added, ‘I’m fifty, so I need to keep moving’. It was a huge pleasure to meet you both! @jess_cappa
New video from #Uzbekistan ! 🎥 Go and watch it now, the link's in my bio 🔝
This photo perfectly illustrates how I felt (almost) all the time in #CentralAsia 💃
Gosh, how much I #love and endlessly miss #Zarafhan . People from there say "Zarafshan is a unique nation". And that's true. This time I fully felt it. There are no people in the world like from Zarafshan.
Why? It comes from its history, but it's already a different story... 😉
Recently I read a bit saddening news article about Kyrgyzstan - it was about water-related conflicts, especially between Kyrgyz and Uzbek people. Semi-deserted places with poor infrastructure are the most vulnerable, and Kyrgyz glaciers are melting as well. Glaciers are not just beautiful mountain features, they are important source of fresh melt water (snow melts during the spring, while glaciers melt starting from July, when snow has already melted, thus maintaining the continuous water supply, and acting as long-term water reservoirs). They are also a huge reservoir of CO2, accumulated over millions of years in frozen water, not speaking about the extinct bacteria specimens stored in the ice (brrr). As I already mentioned in the older post, I decided to try to make a tiny difference and sell my 2019 calendar with profit directing to myclimate.org projects. Apart from environmental problems, I decided to also support global health issues - like research targeted on battling antibiotic-resistance bacteria, that I think is a big threat to humanity if not solved early. I'm still taking pre-orders and will start shipping first units next week! Closer to the Christmas I will update everyone who helped on how much money I have managed to gather, and with the confirmation of donation. Have a great end of the week. Liana
Today it was a very special day to share my expirance as on of the speaker at the awards event's ceremony 2018 and meet with the leading event's compaines in central asia , see thier fantastic projects and discuss the development of the event industry's in central Asia .
Uzbekistan won the award this year , congratulating the winner's for their amazing work
Burana Tower, originally 45 meters (148 ft) tall but reduced to 25 meters (82 ft) by earthquakes, marks the site of the ancient city of Balasagun😃👍
It was once a minaret in connection to a mosque and it is said that Genghis Khan left the tower intact after destroying much of the city so he could throw people off its top 😮
Another legend connected with the tower says that a witch warned a local king that his newly-born daughter would die once she reached the age of eighteen. To protect her, he built a tall tower where he sequestered his daughter. No one entered the tower, except the daughter's servant who brought her food. The daughter grew up alone and became a beautiful young lady. One day, however, a poisonous spider was hiding in the food brought by the servant. The spider bit the girl, and she died in the tower, at the age of eighteen.
Is it just me or does that legend sound a lot like the one of Istanbul’s Maiden Tower?😉
It’s a beautiful sight and has also been made a UNESCO World Heritage site❤️🇰🇬✨
*WARNING - really bad dance performance. This video may offend professional dancers* .
Last night I had a weird dream about The Prodigy. Not sure why, haven’t listened to their music for ages. This morning, Spotify suggested me their new album. It’s a sign, let’s talk about roadtrip music.
It’s not about the music on my playlists, it’s about songs that I connect to countries, songs that trigger strong memories.
The beginning of the trip - China, Japan, Russia (part 1) I didn’t really listen to music. But starting with Mongolia there are songs, that I connect to this roadtrip x a certain country & moment. 🎵Mongolia: I never listen to Ed Sheeran unless I have to. But I will ever connect ‘Shape of you’ to this spontaneous ‘dance’ (I can only dance like this, pardon) in the Mongolian grasslands, while waiting for visas and car papers. Makes me smile, every time I hear it. .
🎵 Russia (part 2) & Central Asia: There was so much different music - but one artist and his remarkable voice was ever present: Jah Khaleb and especially his song ‘Medina’. No clue what he raps about but it sounds pretty cool and it was everywhere...in cabs, restaurants, cafés. 🎵Tajikistan (the only exception in Central Asia): I arrived early in the morning at the Tajik border in almost 5000 meters altitude. It looked unreal, like an abandoned space station - and before I’ve encountered one of the badass border patrol guys up there, I’ve heard Tajik music coming from massive speakers...in the middle of snow and mountains. Unforgettable. 🎵Azerbaijan: Downtown Baku I’ve heard loud music from a car. First thought it’s Turkish rap, to realize it’s German. Massive beat, lyrics mmmhhh. ‘Tamam Tamam’ from Summer Cem. I guess it sounds great, if you don’t understand German.
🎵Georgia: Met a girl who studies Opera Singing and we went to a super market to buy some drinks. Inside they were playing ‘Back to Black’ from Amy Winehouse. So, while strolling through the shelves, we were singing along, she just perfect, me like I dance. Very memorable.