The Caucasus

Tomorrow night, I begin a journey that will take me through the Caucasus region, then west through former Soviet countries of Ukraine and Moldova, then south through Romania and into the Balkans winding down into Greece and Cyprus. It will be a challenging and educational experience in which I will see many new places and learn lots of new things. I don’t know too much about the places I will be going, especially the mysterious Caucasus. I have done a lot of research though and here is a brief overview of the region.

The Caucasus or Caucasia is a region in Eurasia bordered on the north by Russia, on the southwest by Turkey, on the west by the Black Sea, on the east by the Caspian Sea, and on the south by Iran. The Caucasus includes the Caucasus Mountains and surrounding lowlands.

The Caucasus Mountains are commonly reckoned as a dividing line between Asia and Europe, and territories in Caucasia are variably considered to be in one or both continents, I will generally consider them part of Asia as the TCC does. The northern portion of the Caucasus is known as the Ciscaucasus and the southern portion as the Transcaucasus. The highest peak in the Caucasus is Mount Elbrus (5,642 m) which, in the western Ciscaucasus in Russia, is generally considered the highest point in Europe and one of the seven summits.

The Caucasus is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse regions on Earth. The nation-states that compose the Caucasus today are the post-Soviet states Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan; and various parts of Russia. The Russian divisions include Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, and the autonomous republics of Adygea, Kalmykia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya, and Dagestan. Three territories in the region claim independence but are not generally acknowledged as nation-states by the international community: Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia.

I look forward to this exciting and new challenge. I will try to keep as up to date a blog as I can throughout my trip, as you can imagine it may be tough to find Internet cafes in certain areas but I will do my best. Stay tuned.

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  1. Be careful out there

  2. How are you getting around in these places?

  3. Trains, planes and automobiles my man

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