Bukhara to Khiva
Looking for Camels and Caravans

Posted by Pat on October 2, 2022 in Travel |

1 October 2022

Mosques, madrassas, museums, meals, walks…it is becoming a blur. Don’t ask me where I was two nights ago and expect a quick answer. I drag myself into breakfast at a slower pace. I fruitlessly hope for a good cup of brewed coffee. There is always lunch just a few hours away so I won’t starve. It is another busy day learning about The Stans. I’m beginning to be thankful the original five became four.

Chor Minor and four daughter’s towers

Before leaving Bukhara, before facing our drive across the desert of Uzbekistan, we drive five minutes then are guided through a maze of little alley streets to a final mosque. It is a great site to start the morning.

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Bukhara, Uzbekistan- The Dollar Store of Central Asia

Posted by Pat on October 1, 2022 in Travel |

30 September 2022

Directly across from our Hotel Asia is the magnificent assemblage of architecture known as Lyab-i-Hauz which has survived unchanged since the 16th century. This area once served as a caravansaray along the Silk Road. It includes the Kukeldash Madrassa, Nadir Divan-Beghi Madrassa and the Khanada or lodging house, all centered around Lyabi Khause lake and it’s really big dead tree. The lake is one of the few remaining hauz or ponds remaining in the city. Today it acts as a bustling, hip social venue for locals and a place to see and be seen. Meager food is replaced by large steins of local draft beers and camels and sheep by ducks and cats…the perfect spot on a hot afternoon in which to contemplate the wonderful sights and sounds of Bukhara.

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REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN – BUKHARA – TEMUR’S SECOND CITY

Posted by Pat on September 29, 2022 in Travel |

29 September 2022

We travel by bus for 175 miles west from Samarqand through green agricultural land, quiet sunbaked villages and towns to Bukhara, fifth largest city in Uzbekistan. I am introduced to this major caravan city along the Silk Road, Temur’s second city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – via a puppet show. But first – I must suffer undulating rough roads for five hours in order to get there! At the same time, my Activity Tracker has registered over 5000 steps and 14 floors. Definitely cheating but I’ll take it.

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REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN – SAMARQAND

Posted by Pat on September 28, 2022 in Travel |

27-28 September 2022

We arrive late to the Asia Hotel, our lodging for the next two nights. Traffic and narrow surface roads are challenging, or as our guide says: “Samarqand is very special for the traffic.” Our hotel is located in historic Old Town and just a few minutes’ walk from the Registan. My kind of place. It is International Tourism Day and we are welcomed with refreshments, all non-alcoholic.

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Touring Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Posted by Pat on September 27, 2022 in Travel |

26-27 September 2022

Tashkent is a city of very modern buildings interspersed with some ugly Soviet relics, green manicured parks, fountains, and a very organized traffic system. Except for closing down the streets and having armed guards every 100 feet, severe restrictions as to where you can take a picture without being shot, all in the “protection” of their president, Tashkent is really a beautiful walking city. They even have an artistic metro in the vein of the good Soviet system.

Tash is very clean and safe with a plethora of sweepers and police

Cameras, and heavily armed guards, are everywhere. So is the flashy Hyatt Regency, a high rise Ramada Inn though our guide says “remodeled by Ramada but smells like Soviets,” trendy shopping like Armani and Apple, kiosks to buy a chizburger or Gamburger, and one of the best traffic systems I’ve experienced. Every light is timed and pedestrians obey them.

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REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN – TASHKENT

Posted by Pat on September 26, 2022 in Travel |

26 September 2022

I keep reading about colorful straws served with beer. Haven’t been able to confirm this. No straw with beer because no beer. But did get a bright blue flex straw with my coffee latte this morning.

Today we are driven to the Tajikistan/Uzbekistan border. We were warned that it can be a difficult crossing as the “No man’s land” is long and you have to carry your luggage. Additionally, it is partial gravel, computers are really slow, it is very hot with no shade and we find miles of trucks waiting to cross. It all spells c.h.a.o.s.

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And More From Tajikistan

Posted by Pat on September 25, 2022 in Travel |

25 September 2022

It’s hot as Hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!

Do donkey carts pay on the toll road?

We are back on the road again. Today, we drive 50 miles southwest through the foothills to the ancient city of Istarafshan, a city that is one of the oldest in Tajikistan dating back over 2,500 years. An important stop on the Silk Road, it again is becoming a trader destination for new age tourists. The trip takes us almost 2 hours. Before 2000, the city was called Üroteppa but was renamed because of the government’s plan of Tajikization or persianiizaton. This is the planned program of cultural change with the purpose of assimilating people, culture, and language. In other words, to remove diversity and create unity.

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