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Uzbekistan 2019

April - June 2019
  • Day10

    Back to Tashkent

    April 22 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Apricot seeds
    Stop at dirty toilet
    Said gets. On the back

    Do you know where our hotel is?
    So, where are you driving to?
    I am just driving

    Beautiful hotel
    Tour evaluation
    Turkmenistan nothing to see apart from crater and capital all. White not even black cars

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  • Day10

    Carpet Workshop

    April 22 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Before going for lunch we stop at a silk factory Silk from coccons
    From one 1.200m
    All colours are vegetarian: roots of maders for red, pomegranate for orange
    Double. Knot
    With silk cut they do interior of cushions
    Rest every 30 minutes
    Only less than 1cm per day with two women working 8 hours day

    What matters is the colour. Change colour based on where you look ftom
    Women only
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  • Day10

    Samarkand, Observatory

    April 22 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Last morning in Samarkand! As a goodbye present the weather decided to be CLEMENTE and avoided to rain. However, it's still freezing cold... 😥
    By 9am we are all in the van ready to go.
    We have two stops planned before we start our long drive to Tashkent: the Necropolis and the Observatory.

    Ulugbek was born in Iran in 1394 and is the grandson of Timur. His real name was different: this is a nickname. He is the only ruler in the world who was both ruler and astronomer: he discovered 1018 stars without any optical instruments! 😳

    We walk up

    Ulugbek complex has two sections: the museum and the Observatory. It's the only observatory in Central Asia and was built in the 1400s. Unfortunately it was destroyed in the 17th century earthquake.
    It was a circular 3-storey building with a flat roof. The building was down in the ground XXXX

    Observatory was in use until 1910
    Most of the scientific works of current astronomers still rely on Ulugbek's calculations. After Ulugbek's death nobody invested in the observatory.

    An observatory was built close to Tashkent and discovered an asteroid in 2009.

    One descendant of Timur had to move to India and started a new Indian dinasty.

    Go to the ruins of the observatory: only the underground part survived. We can still see XXX
    To calculate the duration of the year they checked how long it took for a star to go back to the original position: the final calculation is only 1 minute and 2 seconds longer than the current official year duration.
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  • Day9

    Samarkand, Evening

    April 21 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Half frozen after 1.5 hours in the cold wandering around the Bazar and the mosque, we are rescued by our driver, who picks us up

    Drop Heather
    Said picks up his car
    Drives us to atm doesn't work
    Drive to restaurant
    Dinner toileys
    Jokes indian
    Registan square wait for mayor
    He paid to become mayirRead more

  • Day9

    Samarkand, Bibi-Khanym Mosque

    April 21 in Uzbekistan ⋅ 🌬 13 °C

    Bus drops us off narrow alley
    Mosque huge entrance

    Temur's wife chinesr princess made fall in love. He found out ordered cover face
    In reality started 18th 19th century

    In reality Temur built Mosque when he conquered India.
    Built in front of Bibi-Khanym mausoleum
    Initially it was built with higher costs than he planned so Temur had him executed
    And rebuilt it
    15k Ppl. Could pray
    The entrance was higher than now.
    Temur "if you want to see how powerful we are, look at our buildings"
    To build it, he sold 5000 Indian slaves

    Mosque built in only 4 years but not enough : to be quicker they filled walls with rubbish
    Biggest dome in Central Asia
    Old Coran we saw in Tashkent was kept here

    The mosque was partly destroyed in the 17th century earthquake.
    Inside decorated with very tiny details. Typical of Samarkand

    2 Smaller mosques on the side
    Mosque complex had marble columns.
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  • Day9

    Samarkand, Registan Square

    April 21 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Registan means "sandy Place"
    It used to be used for big announcements and were always busy with bazars
    Temur built in 1400 Temur built a madrasah and, a few years later, another madrasah with tiger decorations was built. Then the mosque was built.

    First madrasah 1400. Other and Mosque 1600

  • Day9

    Samarkand, Ulughbek Madrasah

    April 21 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Madrasah Ulugbek in 1400
    Built by Temur's son at the age of 23
    One of the biggest madrasahs of Central Asia
    Master from Iran
    Uluk was the only person to allow girls to study together with boys
    Inside library with 15.000 handwritten books

    Burkas used until. 1924 then burnt in Registan square

    Standard squared madrasah
    2 storey building with 4 big niches
    Walk up to see room of students
    Ceramics sound differently based on the minerals contained.

    Opposite the entrance there is a small Mosque. Every madrasah must have a Mosque. If people are not praying it can be used for meetings. Nowadays is used as a museum of arts & crafts.


    Ulugbek was beheaded by his son. They didn't have a good relationship
    When Ulugbek lost a war, his son mad at him and imams AIZZARR son against him. They forced him to go to Mecca to prove he was a good Muslim. Couldn't bring soldiers and was behaded
    Son also executed for PATRICIDIO

    Go. Out. Sun
    If it's not a happy ending, it's not the end yet
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  • Day9

    Samarkand, Timur's Mausoleum

    April 21 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Samarkand was given to Russia by the Bukhara emirate as a sign of friendship.
    It is the only city in Uzbekistan to have three parts:
    - Old part: built after Gengis Khan's destruction, in Timur's times. Samarkand became the capital of his empire
    - Ancient part: built in the 8th century, was completely destroyed by Gengis Khan in the 13th century. There is nothing left
    New part

    Timur's mausoleum was built by masters of Iran.
    Mausoleum was built. By temur for his heir who however died before
    Completed in 1424
    Temur had 4 sons
    It used to be a madrasah
    There used to be 4 minarets. The two North ones were distroyed by an earthquake in the 17th century which also destroyed the dormitory and the Madrasah.

    We see a big storage of pomegranate juice. They would drink before and after battle and based on the different level reached by the juice he would understand how many soldiers were lost. But Temur had 250.000

    Empire number 1 Gengis Khan, second Alexander, 3rd largest empire by Temur

    At the entrance of the mausoleum, we stop at a map showing the territories of Temur's empire: the green part was his empire, the yellow one shows his vassal states. The map almost corresponds to the Silk Road route. He went all the way to Istanbul to the west and Delhi to the South East.

    15kg of pure gold was used to decorate it.
    The design is made with papier-maché and alabaster
    The lower part of the walls is made of onyx

    Temur's grave is a small black one in the middle. The biggest one is Temur's spiritual master, a relative of Mohammed.
    Two very tiny graves for grandsons who died as kids
    Size of the grave shows age or social level
    Initially the door was in front of the graves, but then added side gallery
    Unique construction: double dome to create a microclimate isolating from heat and cold

    On the 21st June 1941 the Soviets opened the grave of Temur. They were warned that this would bring them bad luck
    On 22nd June the Germans attacked Russia and World War II started
    Before they opened it it wasn't sure that Temur was really
    His body was mummified because he had to be transported and the mummy shows an injury in his leg, which allowed to identify him.
    Tamerlan means Lame Temur. He never liked that nickname
    He was very tall for the time: 1,68m
    The Russian anthropologist recreated the facial features of Temur based on his skull: looks more Mongolian. He had light eyes and reddish hair. On helmet 3 rings to show Asia, Europe and Northern Africa.
    Was very brut
    He killed 17 million people
    Made pyramids with skulls of egiptians
    The original. Plan was to build a second mausoleum connected via a tunnel to a Mosque.
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  • Day8

    Mitan to Samarkand aka The Crazy Drive

    April 20 in Uzbekistan ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

    The drive to Samarkand is not long and in less than two hours we reach the city outskirts. However, a bad surprise awaits us: the City in on lockdown due to a visit of the South Korean President. Meaning... all roads into the city have been closed. Non need to mention that there was no warning nor any official communication. And, obviously, nobody has any idea of when the road blocks will be removed: it could be tonight... It could be in three days! 😨

    We slowly start to panic, but it's when everything seems to be lost that our driver manages to impress us with unprecedented abilities: after proving his remarkable knowledge of Uzbek road and street map (including unpaved tracks in the middle of the steppe), he surprises us with his sangfroid...
    As we are stuck in a traffic jam on the way to Samarkand and we are not moving at all, he has the brillant idea of crossing the guardrail 😱 and starting driving at crazy speed in the other lane of the highway... 😱😱😱 Against the flow! 😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

    We are literally paralised sure that we will crash into the first car (or truck) on our trajectory, but we clearly underestimated Uzbeks... All vehicles driving in the opposite (correct) direction dodge us with nonchalance and after a couple of kilometers we manage to go back to our lane at the gate of the city. Unfortunately the situation is not much better: we are stuck in a roadblock with angry drivers standing on the roofs of their own vehicles or surrounding a helpless (and surprisingly calm) policeman. Nothing is moving and after waiting for a good half an hour we decide to go back the same way we came here. Meaning... against the flow! 😅

    Under the very eyes of the policeman we do a U-turn and cross the guardrail of the highway proceeding against the flow. We are almost getting used to this kind of manoeuvres, but what my brain still refuses to accept is that the police seems to be totally OK woth it too...

    Mr. Furqat proves again his
    2 million people

    President's staff in hotel

    We have just half an hour to get chanhed and come back to the lobby to go out for dinner. If yesterday we were in a Yurt camp among bushes and camels, tonight Said brings us to a luxurious hotel with private rooms. Once again the food is amazing and, after a lovely rice soup, we are served a very dish: beef kofka in a tomato and onion sauce. Absolutely amazing! 🤩

    Before going back to our hotel we receive bad news: our luck is over... tomorrow it's going to rain! 😭😭😭
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