.From Kazakhstan's surreal modern capital, Astana (recently renamed Nursultan, in honor of the long-serving president) David Mould travels to the mining and steel city of Karaganda, where thousands died in labor camps in the Stalin era. From Kyrgyzstan's less pretentious capital, Bishkek, he takes a trip on a wheezing bus to Karakol on the shore of Issyk Kul, the second-largest alpine lake in the world and a rest stop for Russian explorers and Chinese traders. And it’s a wild ride over three mountain ranges in a Lada (with vodka for ballast) from Bishkek to the ancient Silk Road city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan, a flash point for ethnic tensions in the post-Soviet era.
David Mould, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University, has traveled widely in Asia and southern Africa. Born in the UK, he worked as a newspaper and TV journalist before moving to the US. His travel essays and articles have been published in Newsweek, Christian Science Monitor, Times Higher Education, and History News Network. His books include Monsoon Postcards: Indian Ocean Journeys (Ohio University Press, 2019) and Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia (Ohio University Press, 2016). Read David’s travel blogs on Facebook and at www.davidhmould.com.