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Published: August 18th 2007
More meat, more oil, more cholesterol, mmmm ....
"More mosques than days of the year". And that's the truth. Bukhara has more mosques than days in the year, and walking around, you'd kind of start to believe that its more than a tall tale they tell the tourists. Bukhara is known as the holy and wise city of Uzbekistan, although given that Bukhara is that much closer to the scorching desert, you'd wonder just how wise the people living here were.
We traveled to Bukhara from Samarkand in a shared taxi. This time we had two guys with us - older and more quite Salim in the front, and smiley Abdul who spent the whole trip smiling stupidly at us. We also had a jolly gold toothed driver who spent most of the journey talking to us about everything under the sun. They were a friendly bunch, and somehow we managed to while away 5 hours talking English while they spoke Russian - not sure if either of us understood each other, but there was plenty of polite laughing at each others jokes.
We pulled into the old city of Bukhara late afternoon and headed straight over to our hotel - Emir B&B. This place deserves a
The picture doesn't do it justice
The room was gorgeous, and it wasn't just because we'd stayed in a dodgy B&B the night before. Emir B&B - definitely a place worth staying at for all you prospective Bukhara visitors
mention - a lovingly restored house belonging to a Jewish guy - sporting 3 private little courtyards with gorgeously renovated rooms looking out into each courtyard. This place was beautiful ... almost honeymoon worthy. And the shower .... it was big enough to fit my entire bathroom from home into - you could live and sleep in that shower cabinet and have a merry old life.
We were kind of tired and so decided to have a quiet night - grab a quick bite and then head back for an early night. Right outside our B&B was the popular Lyabi-haus, a large pool surrounded by outdoor eating restaurants and fountains. Many of the tables had huge seats with cushions and carpets, so you could recline or sit cross-legged while eating. It was very atmospheric, complete with the beautiful backdrop of the water pool, but definitely extremely touristy. Thus, we decided to go a-wandering around the old town to find an alternate eating place.
Strangely though, the rest of the old city was like a ghost town - with absolutely no lights anywhere. The old city - as the name implies - is full of old buildings, complete with very Aladdinesque (I have to find a new adjective) minarets and domed archways. Bereft of lights though, the place was just downright creepy - particularly since nobody else was walking the streets. Huge shadows of minarets conjured up images of large hump-backed ghost camels strutting the streets looking for mischief - or so my wife claims anyway - so thus we found ourselves hurriedly rushing back to the safety of touristy Lyabi-haus. And hence, once again, it was a wonderful meal of shashkaliek, salad and bread - standard tourist meals that all the locals also seem to eat - delicious, but kind of starting to get a bit boring.
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