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Published: October 6th 2015
Following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and many other great explorers during the subsequent 2500 years, we arrive at Registan Square in Samarkand - the crossroads of the great Silk Road of Central Asia. The Registan Square really is one of the wonders of the world - it is truly awe-inspring. A large central open square is surrounded, on three sides, by Shir Dor Madrassah, Ulug Beg Madrassah and the Tillya Kari Madrassah. The facades, columns and archways are covered by brightly coloured tiles with geometric designs and patterns, with minarets and bright blue copulas. Within each madressah the former student cells have been converted into artisan workshops, small tourist shops selling silks, bags and scarves.
We hear stories and tales of Timur the Great (Tamerlane) - how he ruthlessly built his empire only sparing craftsmen who turned Samarkand, into his wonderful capital.
We have a tasty lunch at a 'home restaurant' down a dusty backstreet behind the bazaar and the impressive Bibi Khanum Mosque. The Siab bazaar is a hive of activity with great piles of bread, chillies, garlic and vegetables together with mounds of crystalline sugar!
In the evening we are fortunate to witness
the spectacular Sound & Light Show - 'Samarkand - the centre of world civilisation' played out across the Madrassahs of Registan Square.
Our time in Samarkand is soon over and we travel by a modern high-speed train back to Tashkent for a short overnight stop prior to our early morning departure for the Fergana Valley in the east of Uzbekistan.
Accommodation - Emir Han Hotel
Weather - Warm & sunny with some clouds 28c
Tot: 1.44s; Tpl: 0.067s; cc: 7; qc: 33; dbt: 0.0232s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb