Ask Joan: your travel queries answered

Kuwait to Cork by land and sea, driving from North Dakota to Oklahoma

Lake Van: there is a train from Tehran to Ankara, in Turkey, the Trans Asia Express which takes two nights and includes a crossing of Lake Van. Photograph: Thinkstock

Lake Van: there is a train from Tehran to Ankara, in Turkey, the Trans Asia Express which takes two nights and includes a crossing of Lake Van. Photograph: Thinkstock

Sat, May 3, 2014, 01:00

How would I travel from Kuwait to Cork, avoiding planes, and using ferries, trains and buses? I’m working in Kuwait and hoping to travel in late May. I have a preference for taking a ferry from Alexandria to Greece, but am having difficulty finding one on a website. – DM, Kuwait
It is possible to make the more than 5,000km journey crossing many countries without getting on an aircraft. Alexandria to Greece is not recommended as the Department of Foreign Affairs advises against travel to Egypt for Irish citizens. You will need a visa for travelling through Iran, which you can get in Kuwait at the Iranian embassy, and for Turkey, buy here evisa.gov.tr.

From Kuwait there are ferry services to ports in Iran, the main one is Bushehr, contact Kuwait-Iran Shipping locally. From here you can take a bus to the capital Tehran, it will take most of a day, see irantravelingcenter.com for travel advice. There is a train from Tehran to Ankara, in Turkey, the Trans Asia Express which takes two nights and includes a crossing of Lake Van.

In Ankara your decision will be whether to go to Istanbul or head to the coast for a ferry to Greece. From Istanbul it is possible to take a train all the way through Europe, crossing to England and then to Ireland by ferry, see Seat61. com.

If you choose a ferry to Greece from the coast of Turkey, see ferrylines.com for a list of ports and destinations and greeka.com for travel in Greece. The nicest way to continue the journey from Greece is by ferry from Patras to Bari joining the international rail network in Italy. An Interrail.eu ticket might be good value.

Getting to Cork from France is possible on the Brittany Ferries ship which departs weekly from Roscoff, brittanyferries.ie. As there are so many elements to your trip, using a spreadsheet for days, times and modes of transport might make it easier.


This year my eldest sister will have lived in the US for 50 years. She has visited all but six of the States. We five sisters plan to remedy this by driving from Fargo, North Dakota stopping overnight at various cities in each missed State: Sioux Falls SD, Sioux City IA, Omaha NB, Kansas City MO/KS, ending at Tulsa OK. Are you aware of any must-see tourist attractions in these cities? – SOH, Meath
I love the idea of the sisters taking a road trip and it will take you all down memory lane too. If you had time in Fargo you could see the world’s largest baseball bat, Big Bruce. It is 13ft and 5 inches long and located in Newman Outdoor Field.

Sioux Falls is named for the waterfalls of the Big Sioux River and Falls Park and may be worth a visit, visitsiouxfalls.com. Look back at the discovery of the Sioux City area in 1804 at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center on the banks of the Missouri River.

Enjoy art in Omaha at the Joslyn Art Museum, which has works by Monet, Degas and Karl Bodmer or explore American military history at the Strategic Air and Space Museum and cross the Missouri River between Iowa and Nebraska by walking the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge.

Confusingly most of Kansas City lies in Missouri and downtown is rich in arts, culture and upscale shopping. The City Market is a good spot to try some local food. Music lovers might like the American Jazz Museum , americanjazzmuseum.org.

The discoveramerica.com website is ideal when looking for more information and inspiration for your trip.

Send your travel queries to jscales@irishtimes.com

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