Silk Road - Sep 2016 Itinerary

Billed as "the trip of a lifetime", this journey did, for me at any rate, live up to the hype. A bit of the history of the Silk Roads on this link . Stopping places on the Silk Road were spaced at a days' journey apart by horse or camel caravan. They were called Caravanserai, and here merchants rested safely overnight, and could trade their produce with other merchants. Merchants did not travel the entire Silk Route, but rather small sections of it, returning back to their own homes.

The enormity of the trip is only just beginning to sink in - whist on the road it was a question of "a day at a time". Now, looking over my photographs and having the chance to research the places we saw, it was indeed "the trip of a lifetime"

The Plusses

The Minuses

To follow our journey, start at Beijing and each stopping point after that has its own link, either from the previous city, or from the itinerary below

Sun Sep 11 Valencia to Istanbul @ 14.49 TK 1302  
Sun Sep 11 Arrive Istanbul @ 19.20    
Mon Sep 12 Istanbul to Beijing @ 01.15 TK 0020  
Mon Sep 12 Arrive Beijing @15.05    
Mon Sep 12 Group meets up in Beijing, dinner   Red Wall Garden Hotel
Tues Sep 13 Beijing   Red Wall Garden Hotel
Wed Sep 14 Great Wall & flight to Xi'an Fight New World Hotel
Thur Sep 15 Xi’an   New World Hotel
Fri Sep 16 Xi’an & overnight train Night Train Overnight train to Lanzhou
Sat Sep 17 Lanzhou - Xiahe   Civil Aviation Hotel
Sun Sep 18 Xiahe   Civil Aviation Hotel
Mon Sep 19 Xiahe – Lanzhou – overnight train Night Train Overnight train to Jiayuguan
Tues Sep 20 Jiayuguan   Jiayuguan International Hotel
Wed Sep 21 Jiayuguan – Dunhuang:   Silk Road Hotel
Thur Sep 22 Dunhuang - overnight train Night Train Overnight train to Turpan
Fri Sep 23 Turpan   Maixilaufu Manor Hotel
Sat Sep 24 Turpan – Urumqi - Kashgar Day flight Tian Yuan International Hotel
Sun Sep 25 Kashgar   Tian Yuan International Hotel
Mon Sep 26 Kashgar – Sary Tash (Kyrgyzstan):   Home stay - long drops - shared
Tues Sep 27 Sary Tash - Osh   Imanjan’s Guesthouse
Wed Sep 28 Osh – Kokand (Uzbekistan)   Khudayarkhan Hotel
Thur Sep 29 Kokand - Tashkent   Lotte City Tashkent Palace Hotel
Fri Sep 30 Tashkent - Samarkand Day Train Malika Prime Hotel
Sat Oct 1 Samarkand   Malika Prime Hotel
Sun Oct 2 Samarkand - Bukhara   Sasha & Sons Guesthouse
Mon Oct 3 Bukhara   Sasha & Sons Guesthouse
Tues Oct 4 Bukhara – Mary (Turkmenistan):   Mary Hotel
Wed Oct 5 Mary   Mary Hotel
Thur Oct 6 Mary - Ashgabat:   Grand Turkmen Hotel
Fri Oct 7 Ashgabat   Grand Turkmen Hotel
Sat Oct 8 Ashgabat – Mashhad (Iran):   Pardisan Hotel
Sun Oct 9 Mashhad - flight - Tehran Flight Espinas Hotel
Mon Oct 10 Tehran   Espinas Hotel
Tues Oct 11 Tehran – Kashan   Negin Traditional Hotel
Wed Oct 12 Kashan - Esfahan   Abbasi Hotel
Thur Oct 13 Esfahan   Abbasi Hotel
Fri Oct 14 Esfahan – flight - Tabriz Flight Pars Hotel
Sat Oct 15 Tabriz   Pars Hotel
Sun Oct 16 Tabriz – Doğubeyzit (Turkey)   Ertur Hotel
Mon Oct 17 Doğubeyzit – Kars   Grand Ani Hotel
Tues Oct 18 Kars   Grand Ani Hotel
Wed Oct 19 Kars - Erzerum   Kral Hotel
Thur Oct 20 Erzerum - Kemaliye   Bozkurt Hotel
Fri Oct 21 Kemaliye - Divriği - Sivas   Buruciye Hotel
Sat Oct 22 Sivas - Amasya   Lalehan Hotel
Sun Oct 23 Amasya   Lalehan Hotel
Mon Oct 24 Amasya – Boğazkale   Aşikoglu Hotel
Tues Oct 25 Boğazkale - Ankara:   Bugday Hotel
Wed Oct 26 Ankara - train - Istanbul: Train Legacy Ottoman Hotel
Thur Oct 27 Istanbul   Legacy Ottoman Hotel
Fri Oct 28 Group Tour ends in Istanbul after breakfast  
Fri Oct 28 Ataturk - Valencia @12.55 TK 1313  
Fri Oct 28 Arrive Valencia @ 15.50    


And finally there were the Chinese signs with baffling English translations

Barbara's photos

Maggie's photos

All Holidays - David Grant