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November 23rd 2019
Published: November 23rd 2019
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Uzbekistan calls! The name itself is mystical and conjures magical images in the mind of an era that has inspired numerous movies, books and poetry. The pictures entice you even more and the wonder filled description by friends who have already sampled the land make it so very exciting! The fact that there are 19 of us this time add to the joy of discovery. I can't wait for the cackles of excitement in the morning when we meet at the airport, it reminds me of a school trip leaving. Bags packed, ready for the adventure. Tashkent- here we come!

01 Nov: Day 1 # The journey begins!

At the airport it was like a school reunion! Squeals and hugs , excited blabber and the energetic youthfulness in hauling bags made us look out of place in the senior citizen queues we were in!

Delhi airport is a madhouse but we braved it all and were just in time to start the eventful journey. The Super 19 were on their way to discover this magical land that I had little knowledge of before we started planning this trip.

Some GK for record :

Uzbekistan is one of 5 ex-Soviet nations in Central Asia, along with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. It is a young nation with ancient history. It became an Independent Republic on August 31st 1991 and is predominantly muslim though very liberal.

Getting historical knowledge in this lot is no problem because we have a lot of grey heads in the group with ample grey matter inside!

Like a breath of fresh air is Prerna representing the youth of the 18 others . Age is just a number when I see the spring in the step of 70 plus fuelled by the zest of life!

So , the 3 hour flight revolved around the sumptuous breakfast and the excitement of flying over Pakistan, Kabul and Khyber pass!

Lunch at the ornate Sim Sim restaurant was a sample of the gorgeous architecture that we will see in the days to come!

After lunch I thought folks would like to proceed to the hotel for siesta, since all of us had activated at 5am ,but no! - all were rearing to go for a spin around Tashkent!

With this ex fauji group, it was befitting to start the tour with

Independence square and garden.

The autumn leaves falling, the warm shades of yellow and orange the somber memories of the fallen soldiers in The Second WW , a pleasant long walk, infused energy in us to get to the theater after a quick check in and change at the hotel.

As we settled into our seats to watch a ballet ' The Fire Bird' I personally was very excited because we had put up this legendary tale in the ' Myths Legends and Science' show in our school, ' The Icon Public School' last year.

The long day ended on a high note with this superb performance and the Uzbeki hospitality.

02 Nov: Day 2 Tashkent sight seeing.

Breakfast nicely tucked in , a nip in the air, fresh after a night's rest.... and we were ready to paint the town Red!

The first stop had to be the Lal Bahadur Shastri monument. Our hearts swelled with pride at the honour he still receives and the reverence with which people talk about him.

Our guide tells us fascinating stories that make Tashkent more enticing and his constant references to the commonality between India and UZ makes it more endearing.

Did you know that the Moughal Empire is all misrepresented ? Babur was from here and not Mongolia?

Timur was also from here and is a national hero.

Well, this trip is going to be a lesson in History!

Another lesson was more delicious on the senses! Seeing Biryani being made! The pictures tell all.

A madrassa and mosque later, we dived into the famous Charusu market. Spices, dry fruits and souvenirs satiated our femine instincts.

Yes,you can spend like a millionaire here- your 10 $ become 100,000 som ! Feels great!

Love the food, delicately flavoured kebabs with the freshest of greens and vegetables , it was a perfect day !

History facts ; Uzbekistan was on the Silk road between the Orient and the West. Goods from silk , tea, spices, ceramics, perfumes, precious stones, to slaves and more moved from East to West and this it became attractive to conquerors from Russia and Mongoia.

The Navroze park was a delight in the evening . A lot of zoroastrian influence. Uzbekistan was originally Zorastrian , then converted to Islam

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