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3 travelers at this place:

  • Day13

    Fann Mountains

    July 14, 2017 in Tajikistan

    Words and pictures cannot convey the experience of leaving Dushanbe, entering a toll road and literally driving through tunnel after tunnel ( the longest being 3 miles long) as we snake through mountain passes and watch the rivers by our side running parallel for a time of the road. The first 60 or so miles are on a well paved road, built by the Chinese with the long tunnel built by an Iranian company. After some photo stops, we reach a turn off and leave the paved road for a 24km stretch through a narrow rock/dirt road with switchbacks and other assorted hazards. We eventually reach Iskadurallake, named for Alexander the great. It is glacial turquoise, and we go for a short hike along a path that is next to a river, with the river eventually developing into rapids. There is a waterfall up the path but the path becomes quite rocky, so I turn back, satisfied with the walk. We get back in the van for the last 8km stretch that borders the lake, then seems to head straight into the mountains on narrow switchbacks. Thankfully, we have excellent drivers. We drive through a small village and then reach our guest house, a castle in the sky surrounded on all sides by mountains and rivers. It is stunning and remote. I ask Farid, our local guide about who lives in such a remote place. They are farmers who produce some crops, milk and cheese and then transport it back down to Dushanbe to sell. We enjoy dinner in the communal room of the guest house, tomato salad, satisfiying chicken noodle soup, and a dish of potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and meat. We turns in early. The next morning we wake up to a hearty breakfast of fried eggs, bread with fresh made butter and homemade jam. We then start out on a hike to the summer village, where a handful of families live in original mud, stick houses. We start out walking but the road is very rocky and a light rain has started. Some of us opt for SUV transport that winds it's way further into the mountains until we reach the point where the vehicles can't continue, as there is just a handmade set of bridges , up a rocky, mud hill to a collection of small huts and wonderful women who welcome us into their homes. The children sing their national anthem for us. We spend some minutes trying to express gratitude for being welcomed into their community.Read more

  • Day11

    Day 9-10 Dushanbe

    July 12, 2017 in Tajikistan

    Enjoy a relaxing morning in Bistek and leave for the airport for our flight to Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. Airport is very smooth, get through security and spend remaining currency on massage chairs, about 20 cents for 2 minutes. We are flying Tajik Air, other than obviously old planes very professional. We are served dates and then a sandwich lunch and drinks on our 70 minute flight. We drive a short distance to Hotel Lotus, a brand new, business class hotel. The green market is a short walk from our hotel and I head over with Canela. As we've entered Tajikistan, we have noticeably moved away from the Soviet influences. Tajikistan is 95% Tajik / Uzbeck. Many more people are in traditional garb, women are wearing head scarves. The look is less Asian, more Persian. This green market is considerably more exoctic feeling too us, there is still a mix of fruits, breads, meats, Chinese imports. It is quite a sprawling market, and quite hot outside. I opt not to take pictures as we are the only non locals within eye sight. We walk into one building and it is literally a giant table filled with carrots and women shredding carrots. We make our way back to the hotel and rest for a bit before setting out in our SUVs for a delightful outdoor restaurant on top of hill with a panoramic view of the city. It's magic being outside as the sun sets and the lights come on. We can see the 2nd largest flagpole in the world towering over the city. The food, shish kebabs, french fries is delicious. A wonderful nights sleep with air conditioning. We wake up to a deluxe breakfast waited on by our handsome Tajik young men. Then we set out in the morning for a city tour. First stop, the Musuem of ethnography. We are given a tour and taken through 3 to 4 thousand years of history with an amazing set of relics, tools, jewlery, statues, . On the second floor, taking up an entire room is a reclining a Buddah - restored. There is much on the history of the movement of the different tribes and the silk road. From there, we drive to the main square of the city with a towering statue honoring King Solmone - the 10 th century king who united all the tribes and was the father of the country. Close by, there is another statue honoring Rumi - the poet and storyteller. We have seen many statues honoring him in other countries. Through lovely plazas and the national monument surrounded by fountains, we then reboard the SUVs and drive to the Central mosque. While only a few decades old, it has an impressive courtyard, lovely interior. We are given an informative tour by a local guide. Off to a local supermarket to replenish our snack supply and we get ready for our drive to the Fann mountains.Read more

  • Day14

    Fann Mountains-Khojand City

    July 15, 2017 in Tajikistan

    We head a short distance from the guest house to the bigger village and enter a first house with several local women who are there to give us a cooking demonstration. We sit on floor mats and the first woman gets on her knees and starts rolling the dough for dumplings. She expertly rolls and stretches it till it is quite thin. Then we take turns filling the dumplings. Next up, bread. Again mounds of dough are kneaded and plumped into individual loaves. A series of women and children alternate into the room we're in, then we go outside and enjoy the beautiful scenery in the valley of the mountains. A separate room holds the tandoor over. Our host dons potholders made from the legs of jeans, builds the fire in the oven, tamps the flames down once the proper temperature is reached, and sticks the loaves to the side of the oven to bake. The perfect loaves that we sample after a few minutes. Next, we have the pleasure of going to the village school and meeting 7 of the 10 faculty, all men who have come out on a weekend afternoon to greet us. We learn a bit about their school that serves k-8 grade, with bigger kids having to leave the village to continue their schooling. It is clear the teachers take a great deal of pride in what they do and are highly respected by the community. We leave the next morning for the drive down out of the mountains. We, blissfully stop by the lake with the sun at the perfect angle, unobstructed by clouds, creating a magnificent set of reflections of the mountain ranges that ring it.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Tajikistan, Tadschikistan, Tajikistan, Tadjikistan, ታጃኪስታን, Tachiquistán, طاجكستان, Tacikistan, Таджыкістан, Таджикистан, Tajikisitani, তাজিকস্থান, ཐ་ཇི་ཁེ་སི་ཏན།, Tadžikistan, Tádžikistán, ཏ་ཇག་ཀིསི་ཏཱན, Tajikistan nutome, Τατζικιστάν, Taĝikio, Tayikistán, TadĪikistan, تاجیکستان, Tajikistaan, Tadzikistan, Tadsjikistan, Tadj·iquistan, An Táidsíceastáin, Taidigeastàn, Taxiquistán, તાજીકિસ્તાન, טאג'יקיסטן, ताजिकिस्तान, Tadźikistan, Tadzsikisztán, Տաճիկստան, Tadzhikistan, Tadjíkistan, Tagikistan, タジキスタン共和国, ტაჯიკეთი, Tajikistani, Тәжікстан, តាដហ្ស៉ីគីស្តង់, ತಜಾಕಿಸ್ಥಾನ್, 타지크스탄, Pow Tajik, Тажикстан, Tadzikistania, Tajikisitaani, Tadzjikistan, Tazikisitá, ທາຈິກິສະຖານ, Tadžikistanas, Tazikisita, Tadžikistāna, Таџикистан, താജിക്കിസ്ഥാൻ, Taġikistan, တာဂျီကစ္စတန်, Tatgiquistan, ତାଜିକିସ୍ଥାନ୍, Datschikischtaan, Tadżykistan, تاجکستان, Tajiquistão, Tayiksuyu, Tažikistan, Taazikiistäan, Taxhikistani, தாஜிகிஸ்தான், టాజీకిస్తాన్, Тоҷикистон, ทาจิกิสถาน, Tasikitani, تاجىكىستان, Таджикістан, Tát-gi-ki-xtan (Tajikistan), Tacikistän, Orílẹ́ède Takisitani, 塔吉克斯坦, i-Tajikistan

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