to mark the journey of Polish exiles

SYBIRAK Cycle

8,000 km - 7 countries - 6 months on bicycle

1.  Poland:  We start our trip from Warsaw, Poland in recognition of the citizenship of those citizens from the Eastern Borderlands (Kresy).


2.  Belarus:  Takes us from Brest to border of Russia.  Stop in Baranovichy as a main transport point for the deportation trains.


3.  Russia:   From the border our significant stop will be the site of Katyn where we honour the Katyn massacre.  We continue on through Moscow, and begin our journey up North through Vologda and all the way to Kotlas.  There were several 'camps' around Kotlas and this was the destination of the February 10, 1940 deportation.  From here we begin heading South to Perm (another cluster of 'camps'), across the Ural mountains, and to the Kazakh border.


4.  Kazakhstan: To Astana south through Karagandy and Balqash to the Kyrgystan border.


5.  Kyrgyzstan:  Bishkek (Polish community)


6.  Uzbekistan:  To Shymkent, Tashkent, Samarkand (military grouping point areas) and through Bukhara.


7.  Turkmenistan:  From Turkmenbat to Ashgabat with a final historic destination of Turkmenbashi (formerly Krasnovodsk), the site of military and civilian embarkation on boats to Persia.  If possible, we will cross the Caspian Sea in a boat as the deportees did (although this may not be an option given border crossing challenges- if not we continue by land through northeast Iran).


8.  Iran:  We land in Bandar-e-Anzali (formerly Pahlavi) where the deportees disembarked and were settled in camps to regain their health.  From here we will complete the journey in Tehran (although if there is time, we may head south and visit Ahvaz). Again, alternate route takes us to Tehran by land, but we will still go to Pahlavi as this is a significant site.