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Tour Silk way and Baikonur.

Travel on sights of the Silk way of Middle Asia.

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost” 

J.R.R. Tolkien. “The Fellowship of the Ring”.

The short description of the tour route from Turkestan to Baikonur:

Almaty – Shymkent – Shaulder village - Otrar ruins – Arstanbab mausoleum - town Turkestan – Sauran fortress – Sygnak ruins – town  Kyzylorda – Korkyt-Ata memorial complex - Baikonur town – Baikonur cosmodrome – Baikonur (platform №200 - Platform 254\112 - Platform 1) - town Turkestan - Shymkent -Check Point «Zhibek Zholy\Gysht Kuprik» - Tashkent.

Distance route of the tour: 1599 km.
Season: April - September.
The best time for an excursion: April, May, June.
Duration of the tour: 8 days, 7 nights.

The detailed program of tour day by day from Kyzylorda to Baikonur:

Rocket launch in Baikonur.

Day 1. Almaty.
Arrival in Almaty. Meeting at the airport, transfer to hotel. Accommodation, rest. Breakfast. City sightseeing: Park named after 28 Panfilov guardsmen, The Cathedral, Museum of National Musical instruments, Medeo gorge, Republic square. Transfer by car to railway-station Almaty II.  We take a train “Otrar” to Chimkent city at 18.04. Dinner and overnight on the train.
Day 2. Shymkent – ruins Otrar – Arstanbab mausoleum – Turkestan (222 km).
Breakfast. Visiting of city park of Independence. Transfer: Shymkent - Temirlan village (48 km), visit to museum Khadji Mukana, the exposition of museum tells about well-known Kazakh fighter Mukan Munaitpasov who was the first Kazakh world champion on the French struggle.
Transfer: Temirlan village - Ekpindy village (22 km), on way survey of the Red bridge in the village Ekpindy on the Bogen river, constructed in 1886. Transfer: Ekpindy village - Tortkol village - Shaulder village (78 km). Arrival in Shaulder village. Lunch in local cafe. Excursion in museum «Otrar» in which there are archeological finds with ancient Otrar, ransack and burnt by armies Chingis Khan in XII century.
The ending of excursion, transfer: Shaulder village - Kogam village - site of ancient settlement Otrar (X - XII с.с.) (14 km), visiting of site of ancient settlement Otrar, archeological excavations - medieval bath, mosque, residential area, fortification.
Transfer: site of ancient settlement Otrar - mausoleum Arstanbab (3 km), visiting of the mausoleum. Transfer to mosque Arstanbab (1 km), constructed on money of the Kazakhstan patron of art, visiting of mosque. Transfer: mosque Arstanbab - city Turkestan (56 km), arrival in Turkestan, transfer in hotel, accommodation. Dinner, overnight.
Day 3. Turkestan - ruins Sauran - Kyzylorda (312 km).
Breakfast. Visiting historical and architecturally complex of Akhmed Yasavi: gallery of stone status, cultural-historical museum, historical (cultural sanctuary) museum Azaret-Sultan, the Gates (Darvaza) XIX c., Esimkhan mausoleum (XVI c.), Rabii Sultan Begim mausoleum (XV c.), Akhmed Yassavi mausoleum (XII-XIV c.c.), Zhuma mosque (1878), underground mosque Khilovat (XII-XV c.c.), oriental bathhouses (XV-XVI c.c.). Lunch in the local restaurant.
Transfer: Turkestan - site of ancient settlement Sauran (51 km). From the left party from highway, behind the railway ancient fortress Sauran (XII - XVI с.с.) In those days Sauran it is known, as strategic and trading city on river Syr-Darya. In XII century Sauran became capital of the White Horde. In XIV century Timur has transformed city into a military fortress (diameter 550 - 800 meters) and its location on the Silk way promoted prosperity.
The most interesting in this city were - underground channels of water. Visiting of site of ancient settlement Sauran. Transfer: site of ancient settlement Sauran - village Zhanakorga (68 km), visiting of regional historical museum. In museum there is rich exposition ancient female ornaments, musical instruments, the governmental military awards of times of Soviet Union. Survey of a monument by the victim in Great Domestic war.
Transfer: village Zhanakorgan - site of ancient settlement Sygnak (42 km). In historical books about Sygnak for the first time it is mentioned in X century though under archeologic documents the city has arisen for two centuries earlier. Survey of restored mosque-medrece (XIII - XVII с.с.), Walk on archeological excavations of site of ancient settlement.
Transfer: site of ancient settlement Sygnak - village Shieli (21 km). Visiting of regional history-study of local museum, survey of exposition Ibray Zhukhaev, well-known rice-grower Kazakhstan, expositions of national musical instruments.
After the ending of excursion in a museum transfer in Kyzylorda (130 km). Arrival in Kyzylorda, transfer in hotel, accommodation, dinner, overnight.
Day 4. Kyzylorda - memorial Korkyt-Ata - Baikonur town (234 km).
Breakfast. The beginning of excursion on city, visiting regional history-study of local museum of city, museum has been formed in 1939. Visiting of memorial Korkyt-Ata. According to notes scientific wise men of an antiquity, the thinker of Turkic people, the orator, musician Korkyt was born also live in VII - IX centuries in country Bayat, in city Zhankent.
Visiting of the main area of city «Tagzy», train station land side the areas and railway station, monument Gani Muratbaev - the public figure and the leader of youth of Kazakhstan here is located. Visiting of the oldest monument of architecture - mosques «Aytbaya», constructed in 1878 at financial support of merchant Aytbaya Baltabaev.
Visiting Piously - the Kazan orthodox temple opened in 1896. Visiting of monument Syr-Ana and quay of river Syr-Darya, stella in height of 40 meters, represents the Kazakh girl dancing in the national order. Visiting of monument devoted to Great Domestic war. Sightseeing tour on city.
The ending of excursion. Lunch in restaurant «Kyz Zhibek». After lunch transfer on memorial complex Korkyt-Ata (168 km). This architectural complex, is devoted to the Kazakh thinker, the philosopher, the storyteller (VII - X с.с.) to the founder of Kazakh string and stringed music Korkyt-Ata.
Excursion in museum and memorial complex Korkyt-Ata. After excursion transfer to Baikonur (66 km). Arrival on check-point Baikonur transfer, service of formalities of check of permits and passports, transfer to hotel, accommodation. Transfer to hotel, accommodation. Dinner at restaurant of hotel, overnight.
Вay 5. Town of Baikonur.
Breakfast. Sightseeing tour.
Visit of the city Museum of history of the spaceport. The town museum of history of Baikonur Cosmodrome was open on November 7, 1968. The museum is on the third floor of city Palace of culture. Here the main expositions in four halls are presented: the hall of labor glory of Baikonur, the hall of history of development of the rocket space equipment and development of space, the ethnographic hall in which traditions and life of the Kazakh people, showroom are presented. As a part of museum fund more than 15000 units of storage.
Visit of a monument to the first builders of the city and spaceport. The monument is near the museum of history of the spaceport and a bust to the general G. M. Shubnikov, the site manager of Baikonur Cosmodrome from 1955 to 1965.
Visit of the city square with a monument to V. I. Lenin. On the square from East side there is a Tsentralnaya hotel constructed in 1967. From South side land area there is a building being at home officers, constructed in 1962. In the building there was a huge library, sections of amateur performances worked, the brass band worked, dancing balafo for young lieutenants, the auditorium on 800 places were carried out.
In January, 1994 the most part of Officers' Club was destroyed by the fire. From West side at V. I. Lenin land area the department store which functioned till 1999, (Roskosmos) subsequently reconstructed under the spaceport headquarters is located.
Walk on the local Arbat (Korolev Avenue). In 1989 a walking part of the street of the academician Korolev, from V. I. Lenin Square before crossing with A. A. Nitochkin Street (the former Stroitelei Lane) it was issued under the Moscow Arbat. Stroitelei Lane existed with 1966, subsequently is called in honor of the Chief engineer of the projects of the towns and the spaceport of the colonel Nitochkin A. A.).
Arbat extent one kilometer, lamps were established here, fountains, sculptures of lions at the beginning and at the end of the street are equipped. This favourite vacation spot for town visitors and locals.
Visit of a monument to the academician S. P. Korolev. (S.P.Korolyov is a general designer of the rocket space industry of the USSR, the chairman of the board of chief designers of the USSR). The monument was established in 1970 from pink marble.
Visit of the model of the “Proton” rocket.
Visit of the rocket "Union" (full size).
 The monument is established to the 25 anniversary of formation of the spaceport in 1980. Rockets carriers "Union" were used for removal into an orbit of Earth of the piloted "Union" spaceships and automatic spacecrafts of the Space series.
This rocket was used for check of functioning of starting systems and training and trainings of combat crews. The model of the rocket was fixed at an angle on a reinforced concrete pedestal and installed on crossing of streets the S.P. Korolev and M. I. Nedelin. The rocket was operated since 1973 and is the most mass in the history of (all proizvedyono 771 start-up).
The first start-up took place on May 18, 1973. The dry mass of a design of the side block made no more than 3,75 t. In side blocks before start filled 155 - 160 tons of fuel and an oxidizer. The maximum operating time of the engine of the third step - 250 seconds. A rocket conclusion in space takes no more than 528 seconds (8 minutes and 48 seconds).
Visit monument to Yury Alekseevich Gagarina. The monument is established in 1984, in the square between the House of communication and the building of the town administration. Yu. A. Gagarin is represented to the utmost. The author of the project of a monument the sculptor, the lance sergeant Oleg Pesotsky undergoing conscription service on the ground at school of junior experts.
Figure height - 4 meters. On an initial idea of the author, Yu. A. Gagarin had to hold the globe in hand. However technically, to fix at design top the planet from concrete, it was not possible. The sculpture is remarkable the fact that during rising or a decline, it is possible to photograph the sun between Gagarin hands, and at night - the moon.
The optical feeling is created that the astronaut holds them over the head as a sphere. When the figure of the astronaut was cast from concrete, it was necessary to prepare technical details. At this moment there was not foreseen. The soldier eliminated seams in in concrete in the top part of a monument, did not keep and fell.
Falling, it hooked on the monument head which from blow about the earth broke up, the soldier broke a hand. After the incident, arrived the instruction, the top part of a statue to make separately. The new head turned out slightly less initial version, so, also monument proportions changed a little.
Visit of composition "Glory to subjugators of space". The composition is on crossing of Seyfullin Street and Korolev Avenue. In a monument it is reflected change of town names of history of the town - "The Zarya, Lenin, Leninsk, Baikonur".
Visit of the city mosque. The mosque is built in 2011, the mosque is well visible from the prospectus, is behind Check-Point of the town in a zone of free access.
Visit of a bust to Abay to Kunanbayev.
Visit of the first engine of the spaceport on railway "Gorodskay". On the engine there was an inscription "Kosmotrans" earlier. For transportation of workers and employees on platforms of the spaceport local trains - railmotor car are used. Departure from the Gorodskay station (Yangel Street - the prospectus of Abay). Cars compartment and usual productions of the Ammendorf plant (German Democratic Republic). Time in a way from 1 to 2 hours depending on remoteness of objects.
Visit of a bust and square to the academician M. K. Yangel. The monument is open in June, 1980. Authors of the project Ukrainian sculptor G. N. Kalchenko and architect Ignatenko. Originally, the monument was established at the intersection of Nitochkin Street and Korolev Avenue.
In the spring of 2001 M. K. Yangel bust was postponed for the new place, and 2 of June 2001 opening of the square on crossing of streets of Yangel and Mira took place.
Visit of the model of the nuclear SS-15A15 ballistic missile (on classification of NATO of SS-17 "Satana"). The model represents a transport starting container for the rocket with a head fairing, at the request of the Federal Space Center (FSC) of the town Baikonur the container was brought from military base of the Novgorod region in Russia.
Visit of the park of rest of Shubnikov and a sculpture "Science and space". A sculpture "The Science and Space” are established in 1975 to the Soviet American program of a research of space "Union" – “Apollo”.
Visit a memorial to the died to testers. An inscription on a memorial: "Eternal glory to the soldiers who heroically died at execution of a military duty! 24.10.60". On marble boards of an inscription: "For our Soviet Homeland!". Here memorial to the dead 24.10.1963.
Tragic events at the spaceport took place exactly in three years to the day. Since then starts in day on October 24 are not made. On different sources from 78 to 124 people died: from ordinary soldiers, officers, engineers - testers to the Commander-in-chief of the Strategic Missile Troops of the Chief marshal of artillery Mitrofan Ivanovich Nedelin.
These events which took place on October 24, 1960 in the western countries designate this day "Nedelin accident". 54 died military personnel were buried in a mass grave in the settlement Lenin (nowadays Baikonur) with military honors.
Visit of Orthodox church of Russian Orthodox Church of a name of the great martyr Georges the Victorious. The temple was built in 2005. In the temple there is a shrine of the Kazan icon of the Mother of God which visited the International Space Station.
Visit of the International space school and museum of school. At an entrance to school on a pedestal there is SAS (System of emergency rescue of astronauts). In the yard of school the bust is established to V. N. Chelomey Soviet the designer of the rocket space equipment and to the scientist in the field of mechanics and management processes, the academician of Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
In the schoolhouse there is a small museum of astronautics. In the museum there is a BA TKC model (The returned device of the transport ship with chairs for three astronauts. The device is developed for transportation of crews of astronauts on the “Almaz” station).
View of pedestals with the AN-12 planes (the 7th residential district) and LI-2 (the street of the academician Yangel).
Visit of a local market.
 End of an excursion. Return to hotel, overnight.
Day 6. The town of Baikonur - Baikonur Cosmodrome (152 km).
Breakfast. Transfer: the town of Baikonur - the platform No.31 (The platform for starts of launch vehicles with payload) (54 km).
The platform No.31 the starting platform at Baikonur Cosmodrome used for starts of payload by means of rockets of the carriers created on the basis of the first Soviet intercontinental R-7 rocket. For the first time the launching site No.6 on the platform No.31 was used on January 14, 1961, for test of MBR R-7A (8K71). The piloted launches of spacecraft "Union" from this starting platform were carried out in 1960 - the 1970th, the beginning of the 1980th, and also since 2012. For January, 2018, from the 31st platform 15 piloted starts are carried out.
The launch pad No. 31 the second for value for starts of rockets at Baikonur Cosmodrome. The platform is duplicating for the platform No. 1 (Gagarin start), from here often send to space the Progress freighters for the International Space Station. From the platform No. 31 it is possible to watch starts from distance 1400 meters. Visit of the starting platform.
Transfer: the platform No.31 - the platform No.24 (Museum complex of Baikonur Cosmodrome) (37 km).
Visit of the museum of history of the spaceport.
 In the museum it is possible to see unique museum collections among which: The lunar globe, personal belongings of the first astronaut Yu. A. Gagarin, the first satellite of Earth, the lowered capsule "Union" with which first spacecrafts sent to space of animals - dogs Belka and Strelka, models of launch pads of the spaceport.
Visit of the museum under the open sky, here we will see rocket engines, shipping platforms, the model of a combat missile, the heavy caterpillar all-terrain vehicle and other mechanisms. At desire it is possible to visit the legendary “Buran” spaceship, to sit in a chair in front of the control panel. Visit of memorial lodges of Yury Gagarin, the astronaut doubler German Titov in which astronauts were at night before start and a overnight of the general designer Sergey Korolev. Memorial lodges are in 300 meters from the museum of history of the spaceport.
Transfer: the platform No.2  - the platform No.250 (The command post "Energy-Buran") (15 km).
Visit of the command post, was conducted flight control of the “Energy-Buran” spaceship from here in 1988. 254 platform, are the assembly test case for the orbital ships - in abbreviated form MIK OK. It is constructed for the space “Energia-Buran” program. Here assembly, repair, storage of the orbital ships was made (separately from RN). MIK sizes: length is 230 meters, width is 125 meters, height is about 30 meters. 254 platform do not work since 1988. Visit of the starting complex "Energy-Buran”. 
Transfer: the platform No.254 - a measuring complex "Saturn" (36 km). The measuring complex "Saturn" intends for multipurpose contact with the piloted ships "Union" on the distant site of a trajectory. Also from here control of start of the piloted ships by operators command radio of the line of system of emergency rescue is made. Visit of a measuring complex.
Transfer: a measuring complex "Saturn" - the town of Baikonur (12 km). Arrival in Baikonur, transfer to hotel, free time, rest, overnight.
Day 7. Baikonur – Kyzylorda – Turkestan (546 km).
Breakfast. Transfer: Baykonur town – Kyzylorda - Turkestan town (546 km). Lunch on the way. Arrival in Turkestan, transfer to hotel, accommodation at the  hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 8. Turkestan – Shymkent – Check Point “Zhibek Zholy” – Tashkent (285 km).
Breakfast. Transfer: Turkestan – Shymkent Check-point “Zhibek-Zholy"\"Gysht Kuprik" (Kazak-Uzbek border) (285 km). After Kazakh border and customs formalities meeting for Uzbek guide on the Uzbekistan border. Border and customs formalities on the Uzbekistan side. Transfer to Tashkent (8 km). 

Distances on route of tour «Tour Silk way and Baikonur»:

Shymkent – village Temirlan - 48 km
Village Temirlan – village Ekpindy - 22 km
Village Ekpindy – village Shaulder - 78 km
Village Shaulder - site of ancient settlement Otrar - 14 km
Site of ancient settlement Otrar - mausoleum Arstanbab - 3 km.
Mausoleum Arstanbab - mosque Arstanbab - 1 km
Mosque Arstanbab - Turkestan - 56 km.
Turkestan - Sauran site of ancient settlement - 51 km.
Site of ancient settlement Sauran – village Zhanakorgan - 68 km
Village Zhanakorgan - site of ancient settlement Sygnak - 42 km
Site of ancient settlement Sygnak – village Shieli - 21 km
Village Shieli - Kyzylorda - 130 km.
Kyzylorda - memorial complex Korkyt-Ata - 168 km
Memorial complex Korkyt-Ata - Baikonur - 66 km.
Baikonur - platform №200 cosmodromes Baikonur - 55 km
Platform 200 - Platform 254\112 - 29 km
Platform 112 - Platform 1 - 8 km
Platform 1 - Baikonur - 50 km
Baikonur - Turkestan - 540 km
Turkestan - check point «Zhibek Zholy\Gysht Kuprik» - 285 km.

Note:
Author program of Alexander Petrov. Copying and introduction -  from the sanction of the author  petrovsra@mail.ru

Alexander Petrov
photos.