Silk Road Outposts
The city and capitol of the Mughals, a vast empire stretching across South Asia at the end of the Middle Ages. Architectural masterpieces of Agra still bring travelers from near and far, particularly the India’s most famous building - the Taj Mahal.
First a Christian city established in the 9th Century and then later an Islamic fortress under the Ottomans. Akhaltsikhe has a complicated history which is representative of the diversity of this region.
Amman - Kings Highway
Amman is reminiscent of walking through a time machine, particularly its ancient citadel. Bronze-age caves, Roman pillars, Byzantine churches and Umayyad Mosques all blend together.
Rising from a small town at the turn of the twentieth century to the capitol of the Republic of Turkey, Ankara has transformed into a global city as expected. Its ancient secrets, however, may surprise the wanderer.
Aqaba - Kings Highway
The end point of the King’s Highway, this Red Sea port city for thousands of years have harbored many vessels, people, and fortifications. The first Islamic city outside of the Arabian peninsular was also established in Aqaba.
Up until the 15th century, the area around Bikaner was a wilderness. However, when an outpost rose from an oasis, an important trade stop established from the north and south regions of India.
For hundreds of years, all roads, east to west and north to south, led and came forth from Constantinople. The worlds greatest, and most dangerous, journey had its deepest roots at the heart of this city.
Below the mountainous extremes to the north lay a wide and fertile plain with a history of thousands of years. Delhi, ancient Indraprastha, lies in this region and has served as a crossroads, even to this very day.
From the Tigris River that flows through, to the intact Roman walls, to the Silk Road inn that still welcomes travelers to the Kurdish people that live here, Diyarbakir is a city in the fertile crescent of many layers.
Walking through Goris is reminiscent of stepping through time as Soviet relics and medieval remnants still play part in everyday life. The abandoned cave city and the modern city below creates a unique atmosphere.
Golden sandstone walls rise sharply from the earth like a carefully constructed sand castle frozen in time. But it’s not until one reaches the gates of the fort that the legends of its beauty come true.
Jiangyou lies in the center of the Sichuan Basin, a region of fertile soil, unique cuisine, and an abundance of silk - a beautiful respite from the extremes of the Silk Roads to the west.
The beginning or end of China - whether journeying east or west - Jiayuguan stands as the mighty starting point of the Great Wall of China. Here is a formidable barrier to enemies or a welcome respite to citizens.
Kangding stands at a crossroads for the descent into the Sichuan Basin, the endless Tibetan Plateau to the west, and the Tea Horse Road to the south. It was at this intersection that Kangding became the largest trading post of the region.
Karak - Kings Highway
Standing at a strategic location amidst ravines, canyons, and plateaus, the Karak Plateau for long has been home to legendary rulers and magnificent constructions. The Karak Castle, standing tall above the town, is the pinnacle of its history.
A beautiful and rugged mountain range running east to west, from the Caspian to the Black Sea and the boundary of Europe and Asia, the Caucasus Mountains have been a formidable barrier throughout history.
Khiva - Itchan Kala
Wedged between deserts, a strip of green land emerges along the banks of the Amu Darya River. Khiva, the great walled city of the Khans, lies here, still echoing the glories of the Silk Roads.
Madaba - Kings Highway
With roots tracing to biblical times and a renaissance during the Byzantine period, Madaba has earned renown as the "city of mosaics." A visit today reveals the hidden beauty, pebble by pebble, to create a grand picture.
The Karakoram Highway, consistently regarded as one of earth's most spectacular and dangerous journeys, is equal parts both. Around every turn a new angle emerges of an immense and daunting mountain.
Petra - Kings Highway
Petra needs no introduction, but here is one regardless. A masterpiece of human craftsmanship, a wonder of the world, carved in the red, sandstone cliffs of southern Jordan. From grand city to lost ruins to jewel of modern Jordan, Petra is an experience regardless the century.
A town stood still in time. Glass blowing, saffron selling, metal works, and Turkish baking are just a few of the crafts the locals live by. Walking the meandering cobbled streets, a glimpse of Ottoman Turkey beckons.
From majestic snow-capped peaks extending in all directions to seemingly endless grasslands where nomads tents and sheep number in the hundreds, Taxkurgan is at a land stood still in time.
Tbilisi can’t seem to decide where it lies. European, Asian and Middle Eastern influences seamlessly blend into the environment in and around Tbilisi, creating a uniqueness found seldom elsewhere.
The vast Thar Desert stands as a barrier in the western reaches of the Indian subcontinent, where endless miles of sand proved a formidable barrier, but perhaps more preferential than the Pamir Mountains.
The mighty peaks of old, Earth's roof, and simply the greatest mountain range on this planet. Words cannot do these granitic masterpieces justice. But it still proves a formidable barrier into the Middle Kingdom.
The Heavenly Mountains, stretching from Uzbekistan to Western China, hasn't changed for thousands of years. Nomads still wander the endless grasslands, and modernity has only crept in as what is necessary.
Situated in a blazing environment 154 meters (505 feet) below sea level with mountains of fire extended around its perimeter, Turpan nevertheless remained relevant in its two-thousand year history.
On the eastern slope of Mount Ararat, a pink-hued city emerges among the green fields. The ancient and modern crossroads of Armenia - all Armenian roads lead to and come forth from Yerevan.