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18 travelers at this place

  • Day29


    June 13, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    The capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent is home to more than 2 million people and is the largest city in Central Asia. The overwhelming impression it gives is of financial wealth. Grand buildings line leafy streets and modern cars (especially Chevrolets manufactured in Andijan) are everywhere. At more than 2200 years old, it was originally a caravan town that grew up at the border of the settled and nomadic worlds. The modern face was created by the Soviets after a powerful earthquake severely damaged the city in 1966.

    First stop on our city tour was the beautiful 16th century mausoleum of Yunus Khan, the grandfather of the Mughal Emporer Babur (whose memorial we'd seen in Andijan). Nearby, the Khast-Imam Complex includes a number of madrassas and mosques. It's been the spiritual heart of the city for centuries. At one end is the stunning Barak Khan Madrassa, with its twin minarets. Once a place for religious learning, it's now filled with craftspeople peddling their wares. It is still used for religious purposes on occasion, and the Mufti of Tashkent (the country's top Islam cleric) is based here. Group member Caroline scored an excellent price on a silk wall hanging thanks to some skillful negotiating by our guide.

    Also in this complex is the world's oldest Koran, which dates from 655 and is housed within the Muyie Mubareck Library Museum. Complete with blood stains from the caliph who was reading it at the time and was murdered, it was a surprisingly large book. The murder apparently fueled the split between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam. Equally impressive were the copies of the Koran in a multitude of languages- even Braille.

    A trip on the metro to visit the Chorsu market added a bit of fun, especially as many of the train stations are decorated in Soviet style. Not as impressive as what we'd seen in St Petersburg but still worth a look.

    A late afternoon visit to the Museum of Applied Art proved to be a real highlight, with beautifully presented examples of different craft work that characterize the Uzbek people, including embroidery (including with gold), carpet ,weaving, wood feet work and metal work. The whole museum in an exquisite house of ghanch (carved and painted plaster). Built in the 1930s at the height of the Soviet period, it's a real masterpiece (though I wouldn't want to actually live with all that colour!).

    Although this is a Muslim country, alcohol is available everywhere, but they just don't seem to make the most of their warm evenings with pleasant outdoor bars! A search for a glass of wine failed but we happened upon the beautiful Tashkent Opera House.
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  • Day1

    Arrivée en terre inconnue: l'Ouzbékistan

    July 15, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 39 °C

    Nous y voilà après 6 heures de voyage: Tachkent en Ouzbékistan. L'Asie Centrale, une première pour nous! Il est 3 heures de plus ici. Il est 21h et il fait 37 degrés. Après être passés comme une lettre à la poste aux contrôles et avoir balbutié nos premiers mots de russe, on s'installe avec plaisir dans notre hostel tout mignon aux couleurs locales:).Read more

  • Day2

    Taschkent - 42 Grad - freundliche Stadt

    July 16, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ 🌙 30 °C

    Nach einer gefühlt kurzen Nacht aufgrund der 3h Zeitverschiebung und der non-stop laufenden Klimaanlage in unserem Schlafsaal, machten wir uns auf den Weg zum nächsten Hostel mit Doppelzimmer und Pool. Bereits um 10 Uhr hat es hier bereits 38 Grad. Dennoch liefen sich die 1,5km ganz gut, denn Taschkent machte auf uns einen herzlichen Eindruck mit seinen vielen freundlich beobachtenden Blicken.
    Wir besorgten uns Bustickets für den nächsten Tag für Shymkent (Kazachstan), wobei wir das gut funktionierende Metro-System von Taschkent mit seinen pompösen Stationen aus der russischen Ära bestaunten.
    Später hatten wir noch Zeit für den Besuch des großen Bazar von Chorsu und die Barak Khan Medressa + Hazroti Moschee.
    Ein toller Tag den wir mit einem Bad im Pool und einem leckeren Gericht von Gemüsen des Bazars abschlossen.
    Morgen gehts bereits nach Kazachstan - aber warte auf uns Usbekistan - in fünf Wochen kommen wir zurück, um dich zu entdecken.
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  • Day196

    Es blüht!

    March 25 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Wie gesagt: Nach dem ganzen Flug-Chaos ging alles sehr schnell und ich konnte und wollte kein SightSeeing mehr machen. Allerdings war spazieren gehen erlaubt.
    Ich drehte also meine Runden jeden Tag. In Taschkent hatte es in den 2 Wochen zwischen 20 und 30 Grad. Fabelhaftes Frühlingswetter also und alles blühte!

    Wie ging es weiter in Sachen Heimreise?
    Die Regierung von Usbekistan wollte uns ausfliegen.
    Am Sonntag (also eine Woche später) hieß es, wir sollen zum Ticket-Office kommen.
    In der Früh solle ein Flieger starten.
    Als wir ankamen wurde uns mitgeteilt, dass die Regierung ihre Meinung vor einer Stunde geändert habe. Wir machten uns wieder auf den Heimweg.
    In der Nacht kam eine Mail: Bitte am Montag Vormittag noch einmal erscheinen. Der Flieger startet am Abend.
    Am Montag konnten wir dann auch tatsächlich die Tickets kaufen.
    Wir packten unsere Rucksäcke bzw. Koffer und waren schon so halb auf dem Weg zum Flughafen. Da kam die Nachricht: Das Abflugsdatum wird auf Donnerstag verschoben.
    Das Schlimme an dem Ganzen war das ewige Hin und Her. Es kostete Kraft und Nerven.
    Wir stellten uns alle darauf ein. dass alles noch dauern würde. Als das Flugzeug am Donnerstag tatsächlich abflog, konnten wir es immer noch nicht ganz glauben.
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  • Day186

    Chorsu Basar - Das Herz von Taschkent

    March 15 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Der Chorsu Basar ist einer der ältesten Basare in Zentralasien.
    Er diente als wichtiger Handelspunkt auf der Seidenstraße.
    Verkauft wird sowohl im Freien als auch in den Gebäuden, die ca. aus dem 17. Jahrhundert stammen.
    Hier wird alles verkauft: Obst, Gemüse, Gewürze, Pflanzen, Klopapier, Fleisch, Fisch, Stoffe und vieles mehr. Hier kann man sogar Kuhfüße kaufen.
    Es herrscht ein buntes und reges Treiben.
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  • Day10

    Day 10: Tashkent, Uzbekistan

    July 30, 2016 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Yesterday it started great here. When you wrestle through baggage check, which is harder than wrestling Ties Kool ;-), I had to manouvre through taxi drivers and finally accidentaly arrived at a Bus Transferium :). No one spoke the language but this 300 look a like busdriver recognised the Hotel. Great with no Sums (local currency) a gave him 10 dollar. After 2 stops he gave it back and explained with a calculator that it was only 3000 sum = half a dollar. Yeah free ride, I slept great after this. Breakfast was good but with a few people in a to big area. It's representing the whole country I think. It's build wide and open and with big buildings but not high. Only my hotel with 17 floors and twice as tall as all the rest. Walked through Tashkent and had a real nice day, playing my music and found a good cosy coffee restaurant thing. What they say is true, they have a lot off beautifull women here. Only a few match my taste but none could ever seduce me ;-). The language is one thing that's in the way but the characters are also a bit more closed than others. Maybe because of our open mind and curiosity :).Read more

  • Day1

    The Uzbek National traditions

    March 5, 2018 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    The Uzbek national clothes of the end of XX centuries remain constant up these days. Culture, handicrafts and tourism are rapidly becoming inseparable partners. Applied art of Uzbeks has a wealth of variety when it comes to style, materials and ornamentation. Silk, ceramics and cotton weaving, stone and wood carving, metal engraving, leather stamping, calligraphy and miniature painting are some genres passed down from ancient times. Uzbek craftsmen nowadays still practice ancient jewellery making techniques for cutting gemstones, grain filigree, granular work, and engraving and enameling, also they are trying to take into account fashion demands and styles.Read more

  • Day6

    Days 6 & 7: Back to Tashkent

    August 27, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    After a 4-hour train ride I am back in Tashkent. No mistake in explaining to the driver my destination; it is the Hotel Uzbekistan, all 16 storeys of it in this low-rise city. And here's another thing about driving: it's common to ride in unlicensed vehicles, a practice deemed dangerous in some countries where unscrupulous drivers with accomplices rob the passenger, maybe by taking him or her to an ATM and forcing them to take out money. Here no one worries about this and it's quite acceptable for the driver to pick up other passengers en route. As usual the dangers come from not wearing seat belts and other practices.

    The Hotel Uzbekistan dates from the Soviet era, a sort of Eastern Richard Seifert building (viz. Centre Point and others in London). Time was when I hated buildings like this but I rather like it now. The first picture shows the hotel in the background with Tamerlane mimicking the selfie taker, and the third picture is a view from the top floor with masonry in the foreground. I am drawn here from it featuring in a recent BBC programme "Race across the World" in which the contestants, trying to get from London from Singapore as quickly as possible, use Tashkent as one of their bases.

    In blistering heat (a good 35C) I ride back to the southern station the next day (I would have missed the connection had I tried it on the same day). Seeing me looking lost, a helpful lady serves green tea in the so-called Tourist Room. Then it's time for the night train to Khiva. It's not luxurious but my place in a 4-berth compartment is acceptable and Advantour have answered my request to be placed in a lower bunk. Outside, a mysterious clink clonk sound is that of the man swinging a hammer at the wheels to check the wheels. No problems and we're on our way for the 14 hours westward.
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  • Day2

    Days 2 and 3: Tashkent

    August 23, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    It's 7 a.m. Uzbek time as I pass into the spacious arrivals area. Officialdom is evidently trying to encourage independent tourism by removing some of the former hassle: no visa, no immigration form and no customs declaration. More than could be said for other countries I could name! I manage to catch the exchange kiosk before it closes for breakfast; the lady examines my British currency suspiciously and wipes at some imaginary blemishes. There have been warnings of even the most slightly damaged currency being rejected but she accepts it all. And here's the crunch: there are 10,000---yes, ten thousand---Uzbek som to the pound so by exchanging £300 I am am millionaire 3 times over. Moreover, the 10,000 note is the largest in common circulation so I have to find a way to stash 300 of these about my person. The first quirk of this charmingly quirky country.

    I recognise the guy who has come to meet me because his face is pictured on the front page of the guest house where I'm due to stay. His name is Sardor, he speaks good English and is briskly efficient. He whisks me through the almost deserted streets, pointing out various monuments on the way---the central railway station here, the statue of Tamerlane (the country's greatest ruler in the 14th-15th centuries) and the monolithic Hotel Uzbekistan round the corner.

    My accommodation is named after Jules Verne who while not coming to Central Asia, at least wrote of travelling to the centre of the earth. It's a shoes-off place which marks it as a family-run guest house. Having pre-registered for last night, I am eligible for breakfast which includes a sort of sweet porridge, mountains of bread with cheese, jam and the obligatory boiled egg. And the even more obligatory green tea. I am well satisfied and am ready for sleep but not before slipping on the wet floor in the shower and falling flat on my bum. The trip almost finishes before it started and I don't do much for the rest of the day.

    The next day I've recovered enough to take a metro to the city centre. A 15 minute walk from the guest house, the metro service is a bargain at 1,400 som (14p!) The stations are all designed differently and in some cases look like the interiors of mosques---very impressive. Emerging at ground level, I am struck by the way the city is so spread out. It was remodelled after an earthquake in 1966 and most of the avenues are 5 lanes in each direction. There is much formal parkland and little high-rise, the 16-storey Hotel Uzbekistan being one of the tallest buildings in this city of 2.5 million people. But where are they all?---apart from an outdoor shopping area where they sell souvenirs and ice creams, there is little of the bustle that one would expect in an Asian city or even London. Strange.
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