Friday, 12 June 2015

Full Circle Around the Black Sea

A dicarded Russian newspaper floats on the surface of the Black Sea. Photo by Simon Raven.
In the summer of 2013 there was a period of relative peace around the Black Sea for the first time in many decades; an eerie calm before the storm.

Seizing a rare opportunity to explore the six nations that surround this fascinating region of the world at the gateway of Eurasia, UK authors and road trip travel writers, Simon Raven and Chris Raven, fired up their twenty year old Volvo and embarked on a quest to drive full circle around the Black Sea.

Six months after they completed their expedition through Crimea, the Caucasus mountains of Southern Russia’s “Wild West”, the ancient kingdom of Colchis and Turkey’s Pontic coast, tension erupted in East Ukraine which ultimately led to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the tragic slaughter of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers and civilians. This ancient route around the Black Sea became impassable once more.

Epic overland travel is nothing new to Simon and Chris. In 2003 they drove across Russia from the UK to Vladivostok following the Trans-Siberian railway line. They have traversed the Trans-oceanic highway from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast of South America and in 2007 travelled the road to Damascus. Their latest book ‘Black Sea Circuit: An Adventure Through the Caucasus’ follows the brothers on an epic quest to explore this ancient inland sea and investigate the people, the history and the legends that colour these shores.

Noah’s Ark, Jason and the Argonauts and a tribe of fierce female warriors know as the Amazons all originate from the Black Sea. The Greeks established trading colonies here with the nomadic steppe tribes a thousand years before the birth of Abrahamic religions in the Levant. Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great, Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Putin have all left their mark on this region. Offering a rare glimpse into a world at the frontier of Eurasia, Simon and Chris unravel this complex region at the birthplace of civilisation.

BLACK SEA CIRCUIT: An Adventure Through the Caucasus
by Simon Raven, Chris Raven

Order your copy online from Amazon and all major book retailers. ISBN 9780954884284.

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