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Published: October 2nd 2014
Sept 29 - Oct 1st Bukhara
Next three days were all about seeing the sights of Bukhara. Bukhara has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, the first by Chinggis Khan in 1222, and the last by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. But there remains a bunch of spectacular buildings comprising Mosques, Minarets, Madrassahs, Mausoleums, Trading Domes, Palaces, and the inevitable bazaars and retail outlets.
Notable buildings include the Nodir Devan-Began madrassah , the Kaylon Mosque and minaret, the Lybai-Haus, the Ark (palace ) and the Bolo Khan mosque. Each trading dome specialised in one specific commodity, one was jewellery, another money changing, and a third was hats. We plotted our progress on our maps, and by the end of two days we had 'done the lot'. Trying to photograph each of them in the best light was a challenge, but we think we did pretty good. Plenty of tourists in this place, so for the first time in the 'Stans' part of our journey, we had to put up with loud guides talking to their groups, photo-clicking old pensioners crowding the viewing spots, and huge groups swamping the restaurants at night !! Ah see how tolerant I've become.
Next morning we took a local marshrutka the 13kms north of the city to visit the Bakhautdin Naqshband Mausoleum ( for the princely sum of 13c). Was the tomb of the founder of the Sufi order, and consequently was very popular with the local pilgrims praying eg. at the 'petrified' tree where the prophet apparently struck his staff on return from Mecca.
After this, another burst on the marshrutka to the last Emir's Summer Palace. Formerly a sumptuously decorated palace, is now a museum. Had an impressive harem building overlooking a lake where apparently the ladies would 'frolick' awaiting the Emir's selection by him tossing an apple to his chosen one. Hmmmm, well that's what all the guides say !
Back to the city via a huge local bazaar called Karavon where again we resisted the temptation to buy anything, even though the prices were unbelievably low. Jeans $5, 'leather' shoes $10, spectacular Bukhara robes $30, etc. We did have the best big slice of freshly cooked 'honey' cake we have ever eaten for 30c !!
Last night in Bukhara, so we treated ourselves to a decent meal at the Old Bukhara Restaurant and enjoyed the
best kebabs of our trip - though we did manage to inadvertently short pay the bill and were pursued down the dark streets by a distressed waiter to retrieve the missing 3000 Soms - about $1 !!,
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