Touring Tashkent, Uzbekistan

26-27 September 2022

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

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 artsy metro in the vein of the famous Soviet metro.

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.



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.


Day-Tripping in Uzbekistan – the White Car Khanate

23 September 2022

The White Car Khanate and vibrant commerce of Uzbekistan

What a difference a border makes. Although it looks chaotic, was a bit slow and bureaucratic, and the temperatures were heating up, it was clear we had entered into a new country and a new culture. Immediately one begins to see the Persian influence in faces and architecture.

There were few smiles getting stamped out of Kyrgyzstan. However, the “Welcome to Uzbekistan” and smile from Uzbek immigration was refreshing. He asked a few questions, like was I from the United States and do I speak English. Strange considering he was looking at my American passport, but welcoming all the same. Quite a contrast to what we’ve seen in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.



11-13 SEPTEMBER 2022

Once Five and now there are Four

Sometimes it takes a lot of preparation to travel to distant places. And yes, it will take me three days to arrive at my destination of Almaty. In the case of what travelers typically lump together as “The Five Stans,” my first challenge was locating the countries on a map, remembering their five names, and learning how to spell them. Though we tend to lump them together as one destination, each country is unique and deserves more than telling friends I am headed for the 5 Stans of Central Asia.