Welcome To Turkmenistan’s “Gates Of Hell!”
OK, you all know how much I love to travel – and the world is an amazing place, with new things to discover every day – like the country of Turkmenistan, and their “Gates Of Hell!”
AKA “Door To Hell”!
Amazing natural wonders often go by many names, and that is especially true in Turkmenistan.
As reported in Newser:
“A fiery pit has been burning in the middle of a Turkmenistan desert for more than four decades, and little has been done to get rid of it. The Darvaza gas crater, nicknamed the “Gates of Hell” or the “Door to Hell,” has been on fire since 1971, when scientists were looking for oil fields in the Karakum Desert, then part of the Soviet Union. The spot where they began drilling turned out to be a haven for natural gas—and the site collapsed under the weight of the drilling gear, Smithsonian magazine reports.”
The story goes on to report:
“Several craters were formed, the biggest of which is 230 feet wide and 65 feet deep, and it was full of methane gas that began killing local animals. So scientists decided to burn the gas away, a common practice when unwanted natural gas is sticking around. They thought it would be gone in a few weeks; now, more than 40 years later, it’s still burning, and experts aren’t sure how much gas remains.”
Still, it gives locals the chance to take cool pictures like this:
That’s right, adventure travelers can stay in tents and view the site – the internet is full of pictures of tourist silhouettes around the crater.
The internet is also full of THESE!
Yes, the article points out that there are “huge and largely harmless spiders” that hang out nearby the crater….enjoy!
Welcome To Turkmenistan!
So, where exactly IS this place? Well, Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north and east, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west.
Check it out here:
Ashgabat’s New Airport!
The capital of Turkmenistan has just opened a $2.3 billion international airport terminal that looks exactly like a flying falcon!
The terminal is designed to process at least 2,000 passengers every hour and speed up the “full integration of Turkmenistan into the world economic system, according to Central Asia’s Trend news agency.
That is, of course, if anyone ever goes there!
According to the report:
“strict visa regulations in Turkmenistan mean relatively small numbers of tourists and businessmen ever visit the isolated, energy-rich Central Asian nation. In 2013, the Guinness World Records recognized Ashgabat as having the greatest density of marble-clad buildings—estimated at more than 540!”
That’s right, Turkmenistan loves marble!
In the city of Ashgabat, where the airport is, the city looks like a marble refinery – marble buildings are everywhere!
I’ve never been to Eastern Europe or Central Asia, so there are many travel adventures still to come, but for one legendary Travel Writer, his trips to this part of the world haven’t been quite so “positive”:
Eastern European / Central Asia Travel Adventures!
The iconic Travel Writer Paul Theroux has traveled through this region – and he did it by train!
His books are terrific – he travels like a regular person, NOT a pampered Travel Writer, and the result is fascinating…see some of his books here:
I assume that if I got to Central Asia, I’d have to keep going and land here:
That’s One Crowded Great Wall!
Yes, China is full of people – and I’d love to finally go there…although I missed the chance to see the “lost city of Kowloon”:
What an amazing walled city – home to some of the most dangerous criminals in China…read about it here:
If I get to China, I also plan to do some hiking on their friendly trails:
Yes, this is a hiking trail in China! See more here:
Let me know if you want to come along as I enter the “Gates Of Hell!”