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Published: October 26th 2007
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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