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Berlin–Beijing: The New Silk Road

Dear Ribex friends, Berlin–Beijing: the New Silk Road
31.08.2014 – 17.10.2014

A unique 13.000km adventure with a classic Mercedes E320

I joined the this legendary Silk Road Rally from Berlin to Beijing in Volgograd. Driving with a classic car over 4.000km. on the legendary Silk Road from Volgograd Russia to Osh in Kirgistan. In 15 days we crossed four countries: Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to the border of China. Breathtaking landscapes, cultural highlights from 1001 nights, exciting encounters with foreign cultures and of course the unique experience of driving our own car.

§ Russia: Oryol, Voronezh, Volgograd, Astrakhan
§ Kazakhstan: Atyrau
§ Central Asia: Atyrau – Tashkent (ca 2,220 km)
§ Kazakhstan: Atyrau, Kulsary
§ Uzbekistan: Karakalpakstan, Nukus, Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Tashkent.

Highlights of the tour

§ Wonderful South Russia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea
§ The brutal Vastness of Kazakhstan and the Ferghana Valley
§ Pearls of the Silk Road like Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Kashgar,
§ A super Partner with Henning Redder the owner of the classic car.

The first days there was not much to see except straight roads, dry steppe and ones in a while a Camel or some locals working in the Gas industry. The vastness of Kazakhastan’s desert did not offer much until we reached the border to Usbekistan. Pearls of the Silk Road like Khiva, Bukhara, Samarkand, Kashgar where waiting to be explored. The city of Khiva was first recorded by Muslim travellers in the 10th century, although archaeologists assert that the city has existed since the 6th century. By the early 17th century, Khiva had become the capital of the Khanate of Khiva, ruled by a branch of the Astrakhans, a Genghisid dynasty. Khiva,Bukhara,Samarkand are located on the crossroad of The Great Silk Road as important posts that connected two powerful lands, China and Rome. Now, the Silk Road got us and we loved the color full Bazaars, the people and the busy oriental life.

– The teams where a mixture of Germans, Swiss and Dutch folks looking for an adventure. Our professional Guides did a superb job and believe me it was not always easy to keep everybody happy.
– We also met the famous Heidi Hetzler: She is a 77-year-old former mechanic, automobile dealer and rallye driver. Heidi is driving around the world in a 1930 Hudson. She is more or less following in the tracks of German woman Clärenore Stinnes, wo made a similar journey from 1927 to 1929. I do not comment on it, but I felt a bit sorry for here, and our mechanics did the very best to keep here floating! I have to say thanks to Henning Redder who invited me to join his team. We had a great time together and became real bodies.

I hope you enjoyed my little adventure.

Cheers Andy
Rib Expedition