• A trip to Tokmok

    Almost every hour of my time in Bishkek was filled with discovery and inspiration from the artisans at the studio, but I had one afternoon with nothing planned so headed out of the city to Tokmok and Burana tower, for adventures of a different kind.

    Balasagun was an ancient civilisation, and although most of it remains underground this minaret, Burana Tower, was reconstructed under the Soviet Union and now stands at 25m.

    Design inspiration can come at any time and in many forms.  Although I was mainly focussing on not plummeting off the edge after having climbed the (terrifying) spiral staircase, the brickwork pattern was too beautiful to ignore, and you may well recognise it on a scarf in the future.

    My appreciation of the tower was short lived as I stepped inside to climb to the top to find that not only was it pitch black, but also incredibly steep (each step was about the height of my knee) and incredibly narrow so even my size 4 feet didn't quite fit on. I am incredibly scared of heights and get vertigo standing on a chair so this really was a nightmare for me!

    But the view from the top was worth the climb!

    Although I was pretty chuffed to be back on tera firma.

    And happy to appreciate the silhouetted tower and breathtaking beauty of the Kyrgyz landscape with both feet firmly on the ground (particularly now I've looked at the photos and realised that the tower is on the wonk).

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