The Wandering Scot

An occasional travel journal.

Browsing Posts in Travel

I’m in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan, after visiting the Uzbek arm of the Aral Sea. I visited the Kazakh arm of the sea in 2015, so I was curious to see the Uzbek side. Unfortunately there was heavy rain the night before the trip, so the normally extremely bad dirt tracks became extremely muddy, extremely bad, dirt […]

  In the first century BC, King Antiochus of Commagene built a shrine on Mount Nemrut featuring rows of giant enthroned gods.  Including himself, naturally. Sadly, later visitors did not approve. The gods were decapitated and their heads are now arranged in a neat line in front of the thrones. When or why the decapitations […]

I was out at the Göbeklitepe neolithic site in SE Turkey today.  It has a set of monumental structures using stone monoliths, dating from roughly 9500 to 8000 BC.  Yikes.  That’s totally ridiculously old.  It makes Stonehenge look modern.   It probably pre-dates agriculture, which causes archaeologists’ brains to implode. There are an estimated twenty […]

French Guiana: Ariane 5 Launch

I was in French Guiana, to see the VA259 Ariane 5 launch from the European Space Center at Kourou. I managed to snag the best launch viewing ticket available to the general public, at the IBIS viewing deck, but that still put me 13km (8 miles) away. It was still a very fine launch to […]

Look at this charming Tropical Island! A palm-filled paradise, complete with the rustic “Cabin Dreyfus” to house visitors!   OK, the name “Devil’s Island” may deter some travelers.  That plus the strong currents and hidden rocks that have caused the authorities to ban boats from trying to land.  Details, mere details.  I’m sure someone will build […]

Indonesia: Dragons

I’m in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia.  I successfully took a speedboat tour over to Komodo Island, to see the famous Komodo Dragons. I got there early, ahead of the main tourist rush, and met up with a Park Ranger guide.   Fairly near the harbor we encountered our first dragon.  This one was clearly well habituated to […]