Built spaces tell us the stories of the civilisations that shaped them. They’re products of their time; windows on the politics of the past. Architecture isn’t just art, it’s anthropology.
Architecture Across the Ages takes travellers to some of the most important – and most often overlooked – architectural sites across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Visit Uzbekistan’s towering turquoise mosques, see how Georgia shook off Soviet rule with cosmic-inspired superstructures, and witness the rebirth of Turkmenistan with its audacious white marble city.
At the roof of the world, political landscapes give way to natural ones. As travellers reach the peaks of Central Asia, the ideological shifts which have shaped the region through the centuries suddenly seem very small — ripples on a vast, rugged and largely uninhabited terrain.
The mountains of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan offer soaring views across jagged peaks, steep-sided valleys and high plateaus. Roads at the Roof of the World grants travellers a rare glimpse of lands largely untouched ideological undulations, and the people who call them home.
From outer space, borders vanish; and the conflicts that divide nations fade away. But it was conflict that kickstarted the space race, catapulting man into the stratosphere. In the mid 20th Century, space was the dramatic arena for an ideological struggle between Communism and Capitalism. Winning the Space Race meant winning the Cold War.
Stairway to the Stars celebrates 60 years of humans in space. It takes travellers “one small step” closer to the stars, granting them a rare and privileged glimpse inside the Russian space programme. Travellers can train like real cosmonauts, experience the exhilaration of weightlessness, and witness the raw power of a rocket launch up-close.
We create sustainable, ethical, design-led tours to the most incredible places on earth. We’ve built close relationships with local guides, and will work with you to create an extraordinary trip which fits your budget, timeline and interests.
Follow in the footsteps of legendary polar explorers, climb smoking volcanoes in the remote Far East, or cross the endless Gobi desert on camelback. We’ll take you there. We’ll get you closer. Get in touch to discuss your next adventure.
We’re respectful of being guests in other countries with different cultures, but won’t stand silent when human rights are violated. In some of the countries we visit, the authorities regularly crack down on the media, harass peaceful protesters, engage in smear campaigns against political rivals, and ban independent foreign organisations.
We donate 1.5% of the price of each tour to local community projects, and a further 1.5% to Human Rights Watch, an independent, non-profit NGO that exists to give voice to the oppressed and hold those responsible accountable. Read more here.
There is no better way to understand other cultures than to visit them. But, ultimately all travel has an impact on the environment.
Each of the tours we offer creates between 6.5 and 9.31 tonnes of CO2e per person. Working with Joro Experiences, who founded the Conscious Travel Foundation, we’ve reduced the average footprint of each tour by 7-12% so far. All remaining unavoidable carbon emissions are offset through our partners at Chooose. Chooose uses that money to capture the equivalent carbon emissions from the atmosphere and store it in stable ways.
By the late 1980s, there were more than 137,000 Palaces of Culture in the Soviet Union. After its collapse, palaces like the Shymkent Palace of Culture fell into disrepair without the financial backing for their upkeep. “Architecture, which is dependent on time and politics, declines and goes into ruins when it does not receive neither material nor spiritual investment.”
In Ukraine, there are balconies shaped like ship hulls and castles. DIY renovations extend over the streets below, each decorated in a unique style representative of their owner’s identity and requirements.
60 years ago today, humans left Earth for the first time. On 12th April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, achieved Godlike status when he orbited the earth for 1 hour and 48 minutes onboard the Vostok 1. From outer space, borders vanish; and the conflicts that divide nations fade away. Space is our future.
Posters tell the stories of the USSR. But not the whole story. The rest needs to be experienced. I’ve had several customers ask for advice on travelling to the former Soviet republics. In my own experience, I’ve found that travelling to many of these countries is often difficult. I wanted to change that.