Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Travel the World - Week 20

I started a Travel the World Series last year. (It should be noted that I did a similar thing in 2018, only it was the 50 states.) For 50 weeks in 2019, I visited a different country (virtually) and shared facts about that country. I then selected one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. Fifty weeks; fifty countries... BUT there are 195 countries in the world so that was just a little over 25% of them. Of course I couldn't stop, so this year I'm continuing with fifty more countries, one per week.

This week's country is...


Turkmenistan is a sovereign state in Central Asia. It was formerly known as Turkmenia. The country has a population of about 5.6 million, making it one of the least populous and sparsely populated states in Asia. 

Turkmenistan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north and east, Afghanistan to the southeast and Iran to the south and southwest. It also has a coastline along the Caspian Sea to the west.

The terrain here is mostly flat-to-rolling sand dunes and desert with low mountains to the south.

Turkmenistan declared independence from the Soviet Union on 27th of October, 1991.

More than 80% of Turkmenistan’s land is covered by the Karakum Desert!

Turkmenistan is one of the least visited countries in the world.

Turkmenistan is ranked as one of the hardest countries to enter, with strict visa applications requiring assistance from tour agencies and a guide.

July 1983 officially saw the hottest day in Turkmenistan and the Soviet Union – it was recorded at the Repetek Reserve at 122 F.

Ashgabat, the country's capital, was almost completely destroyed by an earthquakes measuring 7.3 in 1948 and subsequently the buildings and most of the infrastructure had to be rebuilt.

Turkmenistan’s capital city unique “Las Vegas meets Pyongyang” look comes from its grand boulevards, fountains, grandiose statues, and glistening white buildings. The central part of the city, flush with massive structures and elaborate public spaces literally shines in the hot desert sun thanks to being built primarily in white marble. In fact, so much marble was consumed in the construction of the city, the Guinness Book of World Records has awarded Ashgabat the prize of having the highest density of marble buildings in the world.

Almost 90% of workers in Turkmenistan are employed by government.

Turkmenistan is world’s 9th largest cotton-producer country.  It also grows grain and rears livestock. Its industry consists of natural gas, oil, petroleum products and textiles. It also exports oil, gas, textiles and cotton fibers.

Turkmenistan has the 6th largest oil and natural gas reserves in the world.

The Darvaza Gas Crater is among the popular tourist attraction sites in the country. The crater burns continuously in the desert, creating the impression of the gates of hell. The view is awe-inspiring at night as the flames light up against the pitch darkness of the desert. Although the crater looks like a natural feature, it is a result of drilling by Soviet geologists in the early 1970s. During the drilling, their equipment, including heavy machines fell into the crater, and natural gas began escaping. The geologists lit a fire imagining that it would burn for a couple of days. Nearly half a century later, the fire is still burning.

President for Life, Saparmurat Niyazov implemented many laws throughout his reign, here are just a few: On February 2004 men were banned from having long hair or beards. In 2005 lip syncing was banned at concerts. Dogs were banned from the capital due to their “unappealing odor.”

A group of people made a 313 square meter carpet for the Turkmen carpet museum which is recognized as the largest hand-woven carpet in the world in Guinness book of world records.

It is nearly incomprehensible that a desert place can produce melon, but some of the best melons in the world are grown in Turkmenistan. The melons of Turkmenistan are so sweet and revered that they are recognized by a national holiday. During the second Sunday of August every year, every person in the country is advised to eat melons grown in the country.

Since 1993, water, electricity and gas have been free to all residents in Turkmenistan, meaning the majority of families never turn their stove off to save on the cost of matches. 

I decided to let this Turkmenistan fact be the inspiration for this week's card... Black cars as well as any dirty cars are banned in the capital of Turkmenistan; therefore, there are numerous car cleaning stations in the outskirts of the city where everyone is cleaning their cars before entering the city.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Set: Stamplorations Enjoy the Ride stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Accent Opaque 120# White, Recollections Black and SU Real Red CS and AMuse Studio Polka Dot and Paper Studio Black/White Diagonal Stripe DP

Embellishments: Eyelet Outlet Matte Enamel Dots and Ribbon from an unknown vendor


kiwimeskreations said...

Love your fabulous vintage red car Jeanette - a fabulous card!!
Stay safe

Beth Norman-Roberts said...

Very nice layout. Love the car.

Lynn McAuley said...

Doesn't sound like I would be welcomed in Turkmenistan. My car is always needing a wash! Love this great vintage car, Jeanette! It makes for a great masculine design!