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Asia » Uzbekistan
October 10th 2007
Published: October 26th 2007
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Hast-Imom, TashkentHast-Imom, TashkentHast-Imom, Tashkent

With the Friday Mosque in the background
Arrived into Tashkent Airport on the 4th October evening to find no-one at the visa office. After hanging about for 45 minutes and hassling every official looking person I could find, finally a man came up to me, asked for my visa number and passport, and just ran off with them. Before I could stop to wonder if I would ever see my passport again, he was back after 10 minutes with the visa, asked for US$60, and then took himself off again.

Customs was mayhem with every local loaded with all manner of goods. No time to be polite; you've just got to elbow your way through like the post-Xmas sales or you'll be there for hours.

We have travelled to Tashkent, Samarkand, Shaakhrisabz, and Bukhara. I have been totally gobsmacked by the magnificent mosques and medressas in Uzbekistan. There's been a wonderful mixture of restored buildings which gives you an idea of how beautiful they were in their heyday, and those left in their natural state. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. I took so many of them that it was difficult to narrow them down - Enjoy!

The countryside has been really interesting too, as one would expect travelling along the Old Silk Route. In one instance you will see vast dusty steppe or sandy desert, and in the next moment - cotton fields, fruit trees and vineyards. We have feasted on lots of shashlyk, salads and fruits (the melons and grapes have been especially delicious).


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SuzanaSuzana
Suzana

Wonderful silk embroidery on cotton cloth
Ceiling detailCeiling detail
Ceiling detail

In the Museum of Applied Arts in Tashkent
Home cookingHome cooking
Home cooking

Majority of the group having dinner at a restaurant in a private home in Samarkand.
Guri Amir Mausoleum, SamarkandGuri Amir Mausoleum, Samarkand
Guri Amir Mausoleum, Samarkand

Wonderful tile detail at the entrance
Guri Amir ceilingGuri Amir ceiling
Guri Amir ceiling

Directly below are the tombs of Amir Temur (aka Tamerlane), his two sons and two grandsons including Ulughbek (great astronomer).
Guri Amir exteriorGuri Amir exterior
Guri Amir exterior

We went back after dinner to check out the lights. Dilshod (our guide) convinced the caretaker to let us into the mausoleum again.
Family photoFamily photo
Family photo

Outside the Registan in Samarkand.
Ulughbek MedressaUlughbek Medressa
Ulughbek Medressa

The oldest medressa in the Registan, completed in 1420 by Ulughbek. It contained teaching halls, dormitories, and a large mosque.
Tilla-Kari MedressaTilla-Kari Medressa
Tilla-Kari Medressa

The middle medressa, completed in 1660. Contains a lovely courtyard garden with lots of souvenir shops, and photos of how the Registan looked before it was renovated.
MihrabMihrab
Mihrab

Niche inside the Tilla-Kari mosque facing towards Mecca
Sher Don MedressaSher Don Medressa
Sher Don Medressa

Located opposite the Ulughbek Medressa in the Registan complex; completed in 1636. The entrance portal is decorated with tiger-like animals, which goes against the Islamic depiction of live beings.
Medressa interiorMedressa interior
Medressa interior

There were 2 levels of dormitories, which are now used as art and souvenir shops.
IwanIwan
Iwan

Arched portal in the medressa with fantastic tilework
Bibi-Khanym MosqueBibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mosque

This recently restored mosque was destroyed by an earthquake in 1897.
Sampling sweetsSampling sweets
Sampling sweets

At the Siab Market
Nice hatNice hat
Nice hat

Trying on the national skull cap called "dopi".


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