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Old fashioned Russia  
   Updated 28th September 2022

Entrance to the citidel in Derbent

"the LUN" Ground effect plan on the beach just south of Derbent

A14th Century Mosque. Crooket walls after eqrthquakes over the long time this has been around.

Underground waterfall at Saltinsky

Typical mountain village

Gamsutl village

Gamsutl village

Gamsutl village

Terraces. I think these are natural as they go on forever.


On of the towers in Kahib



Serious valley at Kahib

Lynne posing with a local guide

Getting reasy to get on the boat at Sulak Canion

Sary-Kum sand dune.




We have now left Russia after 12 years and since we had quite a bit of Aeroflot miles we looked at places in Russia to go that might be interesting to visit. Selection fell on Dagestan and we do not regret it. Very interesting place and the only place we have ever visited where we did not hear a single word of English, French, German, Chinese or any other language than Russia and one of the 30+ local languages.

Tour was arranged through a local travel agency. We had Shamal 1 (Interpreter/guide) and Shamal 2 (Driver). A bit of a challenge with these 2 young local guys. Not wearing seat-belts, driving like madmen and kept playing the horrible local pop-music at high volume. We had to use our angry voice a few times.

Sites seen are excellent.

We arrived at Makhachkala airport and drove to Derbent primarily looking at the Naryn-kala citadel, old town and an old mosque. Derbent is the oldest citi in non-occupied territories in Russia (one city in Crimea is older).

Also went down and had a look at the LUN. It is a Soviet Ground Effect Plane from the '80s. This one is the only one that was completed and flown. It is actually 3m longer than a Boeing 747, so quite a sizeable flying machine.

Overnight at the beach by the Caspian before we headed up in the mountains. Breathtaking scenery. Waterfalls, rivers, mountains and valleys.

First stop was the Saltinskaya Gorge, where the Saltinka River flows and there is an underground waterfall in a cave.

Then we went to see the "ghost village" of Gamsutl which I think was the highlight of the trip. A bit of a hike up to the village at about 1700m elevation, but this village has been inhabited for more than 2000 years and last inhabitant died in 2015. A really interesting place. It is described as Dagestan's Machu Pichu.

Overnight in Chokh with it's fantastic views over the mountains and valleys.

Next morning transfer to the Karadakh gorge. The gorge is narrow, in some places up to two meters, gorge in a rock mass, almost half a kilometer long. The gorge is so narrow that even at noon it is twilight here. They say that even Emperor Alexander II himself was surprised by it.

After lunch we headed to Goor and another ghost village, Kahib.. A village protected by steep mountains on 3 sides. Some very impressive rock-formations as well. Unfortunately I cannot get profile pictures to work on this page so cannot post pictures of Lynne with the local guy on the edge of the cliff.

Then we headed back towards the coat for the overnight stay and next morning went to Dagestan's "Grand Canyon", Sulak canyon and a boat trip on the river. Again driving like madmen on the river in rather high current. We had lunch in a peach orchard then on the way to the airport stopped at the Sary-Kum sand-dune. Then off to the airport for our flight back to Moscow. It was overall a very different and worthy ending to our stay in Russia.

Best regards,

Lynne and Atle