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  • Day20

    Day 20: Samarkand revisited

    September 10, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    It's Tuesday and there's no direct train back to Tashkent so for the first and last time it's a road trip to Samarkand. A taxi takes me to a distant suburb of Shakhrisabz and that pillar of dependability, the shared taxi, is waiting for its final passenger---me. Once again, no belting up as we speed over the mountains and in less time than it takes to say "Golden Road to Samarkand" I am at Registan Square once again.

    The cans of Uzbek beer---which is quite acceptable---date from my previous visit but the other pictures are current. The statues of Lenin were torn down after independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and were replaced by the late Islam Karimov, revered as founder of the modern nation. Samarkand also has a lively bazaar scene: I sidle up to an attractive stallholder and the price of a photo is a box of halva. This fudgy sweetmeat originates from the Arabic or Turkish world and has many variations. Rather nice for those without waistline worries. Next to the halva girl, a trio are much more interested in their game than any marketing.

    Around sunset the evening train to Tashkent awaits. Against expectations, there are no concerns around supposedly strategic locations and trainspotting is allowed.
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