Blogs from Bukhara, Uzbekistan, Asia

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Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara March 28th 2019

Yesterday we rode our second bullet train, this time from Bukhara to legendary Samarkand. One and a half hours on the train was far preferable to six hours riding in a bus (which is what our luggage did). We passed from desert to fertile lands, seeing acres of fruit trees recently planted and starting to grow. One of the nicest surprises I have found in this part of the world is a blossoming springtime. Expecting mostly desert and seeing flowering apple and cherry trees is an unforeseen delight. But we are still in the northern hemisphere, so spring should have been expected; I had just forgotten about it living in early springtime's frozen white country of northern Maine where we won't find blossoms until May. Seeing a lovely spring here now is a wonderful treat! Several ... read more

Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara March 24th 2019

Riding six hours in a new bullet train from Khiva to near Bukhara was an experience. The cars were new, the wide and comfortable assigned seats were new, but the bathroom in car #2 was as smelly as any poorly kept outhouse. Our tour director, Anait, cleverly circumvented part of the potential problem of boredom leading to complaints by offering us "morning coffee": paper coffee cups filled with vodka and juice, heavy on the vodka. It certainly mellowed people, and predictably led to many of us falling asleep for a long morning's nap. Still, a few of us were ready to deboard much earlier than the train trip's end. Watching the desert as we rode along was the first time I felt we were in Silk Road countries; that train route truly follows the Great Silk ... read more

Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara November 5th 2016

We got up at a leisurely time and after breakfasting in what looked like the boiler room (which was hot inside) we headed out to see the sights properly. We first went back to Kalon Minaret and after poking our noses into the medressa we paid to go into the mosque. With a large courtyard and deep sides with large arched ceiling it is big enough to hold 10,000 people. We had it almost to ourselves - tour groups had clearly had a more leisurely start to the day than us. Next we walked over to the Ark a royal town which is Bukhara oldest structure and has been occupied since the 5th century. We checked out the mosque, courtyard and each of the small museums but didn't think it was worth the hefty entrance fee. ... read more
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Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara November 4th 2016

Our shared taxi driver arrived promptly at 9am. He didn't speak English. Emma now had a few sentences in Uzbek but it made for a quiet journey to Urgench. We're always asked if we speak Russian when people realise we don't speak Uzbek, after that they might ask if we speak German. Basic English is only really spoken in the main tourist centres. Lots of vehicles run on gas here – including buses which often have a series of gas bottles on the roof - so our first stop was the gas station. All passengers have to get out of the vehicle outside of the station and only drivers can go in, we presume that's because it's deemed dangerous. Gas vehicles have a sticker in the rear window to warn other drivers they are a bomb ... read more
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Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara August 15th 2016

SAMARKAND to SCHOOL 13 AUGUST 2016. My stage 1. TDA stage 74. Distance: 125.7 Kms SubT. Kms 125.7kms Road Condition: 75% broken road/deep potholes25% decent bitumen. Weather: 39c blue skyTime in Saddle: 4:59:36 hrs Av Speed: av. 24.3 kph. Av Cadence. 72 RpmElevation: 450 m up; 750 m downCalories burned : >5000 First day done! Always a relief to get past it. Reasonable ride, started out at 5.45am, lunch @ 8.30am, camp 11.00am. Now sitting in the shade of a school building, with tent on the oval. Very hot, cloudless sky, however doesn't seem as burning as Australian sun. The scenery similar to that around Chinchilla, scrubby sandy, rocky ground. Melons are the crop, with plenty of road side stalls. Limited coke stops- 1. Every one is flaked out in the shade. Bird bath felt like ... read more
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Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara August 3rd 2016

Hello from South Africa! Oups, I'm sorry, I'm still blogging about early August....in Uzbekistan! No diving today, but we had an amazing number of hammerheads over the week-end....blog coming...on day! After small size Khiva, here I am in Bukhara. Good news, the old city is also pretty much manageable on foot. Took me most of the day to get taxi from Khiva to Bukhara. There was not wait to go to Urgench, but than I wasted a good 2 hours before we finally left for Bukhara. It's close to 500km, and it took us close to 7 hours, with a nice little lunch stop in the middle. Not a lot to write on the drive, beside that fact that this is a pretty dry place! In Bukhara, I stay at the Amulet hotel. Had to negotiate ... read more
Welcome to the cover pic of the Lonely Planet Central Asia....smile!
Mantis, I had a lot of them!
Ark, the main fortress, way more impressive from outside than inside...

Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara July 4th 2016

July 4 - I feel like I've never started a blog post with how much sleep I've gotten. This will be no exception. Last night I thought I would get to sleep pretty early, but in the end it was about 11:30pm when I finished reading. It's been hard for me to get sleepy earlier, despite being tired, but more importantly, it's a dorm and the light was still needed by others. Another problem is my earplugs. The pair I've been using no longer seem to work and I've got a new pair to use tonight, but that is all. I should have brought more. I hope they get me through the trip. A guy in my room got up at 4:45 to go to the bathroom, so I woke up then. It was also a ... read more
My hotel - more charming on the inside. They are adding more rooms.
He wanted to be in pictures.
This guy too

Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara May 1st 2016

In the wake of the successful 2014 trip to 2 'stans, namely Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, another 'stan was on the cards, this time in the shape of Uzbekistan. A flight from Tashkent's domestic terminal to Bukhara's (only) terminal kicked off the first leg of the journey, and the first glimpse of the city made it pretty clear that this was the essence of the Silk Road of traditional times, which has barely been altered by the onslaught of modernization. Lunch at a local chaikhana (canteen) was quickly followed up by a flash tour of three attractions on the city's outskirts which typify the traditional and grand nature of Uzbek architecture and style. Throw in a local market with bargain-basement prices for good measure, and it all served to make the already-evident charms of the Emir's palace ... read more
Typical views at an outlying mosque (Bukhara; Uzbekistan)
Close-up of an Uzbek dome (Bukhara; Uzbekistan)
Central Bukhara and one of the many city squares (Bukhara; Uzbekistan)

Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara April 27th 2016

Day 93 Wednesday 20th April 2016 – Samarkand to Bukhara Training it today, and our Ticket out of Samarkand wasn’t till midday so there was no need to be out of bed at the crack of dawn. When we did get up we discovered that it was raining heavily so it looked like it was going to be a damp exit. Had breakfast packed our bags and checked out for our 10.30 taxi to the train station. The hotel thankfully gave us a free taxi to the station, where we got drowned running to the terminal. Waited nearly an hour on the platform where we managed to keep moderately dry although the roof leaked everywhere. The roof however was small and the train was long and our carriage was at the furthest point from ... read more
Bukhara - Mir-i-Arab Medressa
Bukhara
Bukhara - Char Minar

Asia » Uzbekistan » Bukhara October 3rd 2015

We start our journey across the Kzyzlkum desert, from Khiva to Bukhara, 450km of sand and scrubland, which will take 9 hours. The first 200 km is on a recently-made smooth dual carriageway but after this we bump and bounce our way along a rough, frequently potholed road and eventually arrive in Bukhara shaken but not quite stirred!! We have our evening meal in the hotel, which is one of our worst meals so far, and unfortunately several of the group, including both WanderingPeter and Alison are struck down with a dose of "Bukhara Belly" which curtails our exploration of Bukhara somewhat. One or other of us, however, does manage to see the wonderful Kalon Mosque, the Kalon Minaret (1127), demonstrations of the famous Bukhara carpet weaving and a meal at the house of a miniaturist ... read more
Gold teeth are all the fashion in Uzbekistan
The Rough road to Bukhara
The road across the Kzyzlkum desert




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