Blogs from Samarkand, Uzbekistan, Asia


Asia » Uzbekistan » Samarkand November 23rd 2019

06 Nov: Day 6&7 : Yesterday we drove from Bukhara to Nurata. After a visit to a pottery maker and a mosque we reached a resort in Nurata by the evening, just to realize that the resort was a 5 Km trek from the gate where the bus stopped. While some vehicles were being arranged, four of us decided to trek it down. It turned out to be an awesome stroll with extraordinary scenery ! With not a soul in sight, we were happy to make friends with a russian farmer on a donkey. It is amazing how humans can communicate without language if there are good vibes! As we parted, he offered us the bread he was carrying to feed his family which touched us no end! When you have so little to give and ... read more

Asia » Uzbekistan » Samarkand September 22nd 2019

We spent 9 days in Uzbekistan because it is at the heart of the Silk Road. The three old oasis cities - Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand have incredible mazes of exotic architecture and gorgeous decorative art. We started at Tashkent, the capital, it is one of the oldest cities in Uzbekistan. Rock paintings date back to 2000 BC and they went through all the turmoils in history - Arabs in 751, Genghis Khan in the 13th century, Amir Timur (Tamerlane) occupied in 14th century and the Shaibanid khans in the 15 and 16th century. The Russian Empire arrived in 1865 and Uzbekistan finally became an autonomous country in 1991. We visited several Mausoleums, madrassas (islamic schools) and mosques, most of them restored during or after Russian occupation. The tiles were intricately painted in blue colors. Muslim ... read more
Can you image doing this tile ceiling?
Unbelievable intricate tiles
Even prettier at night

Asia » Uzbekistan » Samarkand March 30th 2019

It is already our last day in Samarkand. I was hoping to step into a desert scene, complete with camel caravans, colorfully wrapped traders, and a bustling marketplace. We found two out of three. Mostly what Samarkand is today is a large and vibrantly modern city. The population in these cities in Uzbekistan is slowly growing; as it was in Turkmenistan, new construction is everywhere. So many cars, fine restaurants, young students, beautiful city parks with fresh green grass and flowering trees can be seen, but also old blocklike USSR buildings dot the streets; all this is Samarkand today. But one can also see domes, mosques, tombs, mausoleums and minarets in Samarkand; it is an ancient city that, like Bukhara, was totally destroyed by Genghis Khan in the 13th century, and rebuilt to become the capital ... read more

Asia » Uzbekistan » Samarkand May 26th 2017

aus völlig unerfindlichen Gründen, hatte ich keine Lust, zu schreiben. Siehe gestrigen Eintrag.... Hier eine Kurzzusammenfassung. Tag 32, 22.05.17, nach Khiva, Grenzübergang Turkmenistan/Uzbekistan wir brauchten sieben Stunden für die Abwicklung. Unsere Prinzessin flippte aus und begann die Grenzbeamten zu beschimpfen. Weil die Dame ja aus Neuseeland kommt, ist sie der englischen Sprache mächtig. Einige Grenzbeamten auch. Daher kam es zu einem diiplomatischen Konflikt, denn die Männer waren zu Recht grantig. Sie machten halt einfach ihre Arbeit. Und die dauert halt. Kann man nichts machen. Die Gruppe war alles zwischen sprachlos und wütend. Trevor, ihr Wärter, zwang sie dazu, sich zu entschuldigen bei allen. Und nun beten wir, dass sie die Sache nicht nochmal kompliziert. Tag 33, in Kiva, 23.05. eine der wichtigen Städte an der Seidenstraße. Die gesamte Alt... read more

Asia » Uzbekistan » Samarkand November 7th 2016

We slept well but still had a leisurely start to the day – we’re on holiday. We reconsidered about breakfast being ok when it gave us both stomach ache so we took a very slow walk to the Registan, our first stop. The guidebook describes it as arguably the most awesome single sight in Central Asia. The 3 buildings are among the world’s oldest preserved madrassas (Genghis Khan having destroyed the older stuff), the oldest having been completed in 1420. They are huge. We paid the entrance fee and went into each, highlights were in Tilly-Kari Madrassa (the middle one); the mosque as it is intricately decorated in gold and the young girl who took us into her family’s shop in what used to be a professor’s room, where she explained the meaning behind the symbols ... read more

Asia » Uzbekistan » Samarkand November 6th 2016

We didn't need to leave for Bukhara train station until after lunch so we planned on taking the morning slowly. It was just as well as Marie had taken some antibiotics a couple of days earlier that had massively improved her stomach so her body decided it was safe to cough all of the Delhi pollution off her chest and so she coughed her head off all night, and sneezed, and got a runny nose (which is not very convenient as blowing your nose in public is considered rude). After checking out we dumped our bags off in the breakfast room and talked to the woman who owned it in broken English and broken Uzbek whilst her husband corrected an error on our registration slips. Uzbekistan has stricter registration rules than most of the other 'stans'. ... read more
photo gallery
the train
our room in Samarkand

Asia » Uzbekistan » Samarkand September 17th 2016

17-9 After crossing the border we arrived in Tashkent for our stay in the City Palace hotel, we must have seen five brides and grooms having their wedding photos taken in our hotel the night we arrived, they all looked so young. Our guide explained most weddings were arranged and the couples were normally somewhere between 17-21 years old when they married. It was a normal practice for the brides to not meet their husbands until the wedding day, the young girls looked beautiful in their gorgeous white wedding gowns and they looked very happy and not at all nervous which we were surprised to see. 18-9 We explored Tashkent, walking through the parks and gardens. We had not known that in 1966 much of the old city was destroyed by a huge earthquake which left ... read more
Families in the Mahallya
Food bazaar
In the Mahallya village

Asia » Uzbekistan » Samarkand August 12th 2016

SAMARKAND, UZBEKISTAN, 12 AUGUST, 2016. Today is the last day in Samarkand, the day the bike all came together, thankfully. Tomorrow we start the ride to Bukhara, 260 kms over 2 days. I hope I am up to it, as it has been a while since I've done a long day(s)! Likely temps will be 39-40c by 10am. Riding days from camp start at 5.30 am to minimalism the heat impact. Today visited inside the Mausoleum of Amir Temur. He ruled from his capital, Samarkand, to Istanbul, north into Russia and south west into Iran. His tomb was most impressive, with gold and blue highlights. A small mosque behind was equally magnificent. On return to hotel, in a park adjacent to the Registan, there was an appealing open air cafe where I consumed a trio of ... read more

Asia » Uzbekistan » Samarkand August 11th 2016

It appears that photos added to last blog didnt post. Not sure why, slow internet? Will try again,... read more

Asia » Uzbekistan » Samarkand August 11th 2016

SAMARKAND. 11 AUGUST 2016 HOT 38c BLUE SKY. First thing, I went to the airport this morning and took delivery of the bike and camping gear. Seemingly all survived well on their magical mystery tour! I put the bike together as much as my limited skills allowed. For some reason the bike shop disassembled the derailleur, so I Will seek out expert assistance tomorrow. A fellow departs the tour here in Samarkand, and gladly took possession of the box to repack his bike for the return journey to San Francisco. Travel bags have now been repacked into daily bag, with every day essentials, and weekly bag which only comes out on rest days. Hopefully the correct items are in the relevant bags. Walked up to the Mausoleum of Amir Timur who founded Samarkand in the 13 ... read more

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