Uzbekistan
Aktepa

Here you’ll find travel reports about Aktepa. Discover travel destinations in Uzbekistan of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

9 travelers at this place:

  • 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

    Tashkent, Museum of Applied Arts

    April 13 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    After our short coffee break it's time for our last activity on today's To Do list: the Museum of Applied Arts.
    Built in the residence of a former Russian diplomat, the museum hosts several examples of the different types of Uzbeki arts and crafts. Apparently Uzbekistan was well known for its skilled craftsmen already at the times of the Silk Road and the development of local handcrafts was nurtered by the commercial activities connected with the Silk Road.

    In the first room we see some fine embroideries enriched with typical symbols like the four elements (earth, fire, water, air), almonds (symbolising wealth, due to their high price), pomegranates (symbol of fertility) and the inevitable cotton. Uzbekistan was indeed for a very long time the first world producer of cotton: in order to sustain the growing cotton farms, during the USSR the waters of the main tributary river of the huge Aral lake were deviated, causing a natural disaster. Without its main sources of water, the lake started to shrink, while its salinity increased esponentially killing every form of life. The lake has now almost completely disappeared and only a tiny portion resists thanks to some ecological interventions of Kazakhstan. Where this huge continental sea was stretching until a few decades ago there is now only a salt desert with an unbearable climate.

    Back to the embroideries. They were created by unmarried girls with the aim showing their skills as future wives and housewives. The mothers of the girls were bringing the works of their daughters to potential grooms, who were deciding whether to marry the girl (never seen before) or not purely based on her skills with the needle. 🤔

    We then move to a section with richly decorated hats. Said explains that by looking at the size, shape, colour and decorations of the hat it was possible to determine the region of origin, the age and the social level of the owner.

    In the carpet section we see a machine showing the technique used for producing them: the double knot. With this technique it takes 2x more than to complete a carpet than with the Persian or Turkish technique.

    We proceed to a different section of the building: the reception hall. Already. The outside part is richly decorated with carved wooden columns and the typical "Ganch", intertwined decorations typical of this region. The most impressive part is however inside, with a stunning wooden ceiling carved and handpainted. On the walls not even one single squared centimetre has been forgotten by the decorator, who has added some beautiful niches filled with precious urns and vases.

    We then see some potteries with cotton design that are apparently very popular in the country, beautiful musical instruments decorated with mother pearl and fine wood carvings.

    In the last room we see some gold embroideries (which apparently could only be made by men) as well as jewellery. Apparently for their wedding brides wear over 5kg of jewellery! In general, in the past men could get divorced any time and the (ex) wife was in that case forced to leave the house straight away keeping only what she was wearing. That's why girls were always well equipped! 😂

    It's 4pm when we finish the tour of the museum. For the rest of the day we don't have anything planned apart from our flight to Urgench and dinner. Since we have to be in the airport at around 7pm, we need to go to dinner maximum at 5.30pm! But we were eating until just a couple of hours ago... 😱

    We decide to take an hour break in the internal courtyard of the museum and I order a juice just to have an excuse for sitting at one of the café's tables. My head is exploding because of the lack of sleep, but there is no place to lie down. And, even worse, the guide seems to be suprr happy to have somebody of his age to finally talk to and has the brilliant idea of sitting next to me and starting chatting.
    I find out he speaks 7 languages: Uzbek, Tagik, Persian, Turkish, Russian, Chinese and, obviously, English!
    Read more

  • Day1

    Tashkent, Chorsu Market

    April 13 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    After leaving the Khast-i-Imam complex, we drive to one of Tashkent's landmarks: th Chorsu Market. It's basically a food bazar host in a very typical building: a big blue-tile dome covering a circular building. In the main hall there are sections dedicated to the different kinds of foot product: from meat to spices to dairy products to pickles! A second-story ring hosts instead the dried-fruit stands.
    The floor is incredibly clean, but there is no refrigeration in the meat containers and customers insistently touch meat with their bare hands to decide if it's good enough or not. In the end, I only try some local honey and buy a small jar of safran despite the skepticism of my dad, who is not even getting close to the stands out of fear of contracting some kind of food poisoning just through eye contact! 😂

    When we join Said, he destroys my enthusiasm for my purchase: what I bought is not safran...but rather coloured flowers! 🙈 Apparently a pot of Safran of that size should cost me half of my salary... 😕
    Read more

  • Day1

    Tashkent, Lunch Break

    April 13 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    In Timur's Square we can finally get again on our bus, which brings us to a beautiful restaurant with an outer patio completely carved in timber.

    We can finally enjoy our first Uzbeki meal: we get different tipe of salads (including some beautiful rolled aubergines), an unidentified soup and some meat skewers. Everything sided by some delicious homemade walnut bread. 😍

    Everything would be perfect if only I didn't realise Thatcher my phone didn't save the posts of the travel journal I did so far. That means I will have to redo everything from scratch! 😱😱😱

    Before starting again our tour we stop in a local café close to our next destination: the museum of applied arts. The coffee is truly horrible... But its more than compensated by the free WiFi! 😍
    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

  • Day42

    Über Bishkek nach Taschkent

    August 28, 2018 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Nach einer Woche Entspannung am See sind wir mit einer überfüllten Marschrutka zurück nach Bishkek gefahren. Ich hatte das Vergnügen 4 h im Gang auf einem Kissen zu sitzen. Es erinnerte stark an Reiten. Die Marschrutkafahrer sind Telefonjunkies. Selbst bei den kühnsten Überholmanövern haben
    sie das Handy am Ohr. Manchmal rauchen sie auch noch.
    In Bishkek trafen wir zufällig wieder die Schweizer Fahrradweltenbummler. Wir saßen abends noch bei einigen Bieren zusammen. Cecil hat schon als Kleinkind 4,5 Jahre auf einem Segelboot gelebt. Da wurden die Grundlagen gelegt.
    Sie erzählte von jungen Mädchen in Kirgisistan, die sich nicht mehr in ihre ländliche Heimat wagen, aus Angst geraubt zu werden.
    Mindestens jede 3. Ehe in Kirgisistan beruht noch immer auf Brautraub.
    In den frühen Morgenstunden haben wir uns auf den Weg nach Taschkent begeben. Da es mit dem Ticket über die russische Bahn nicht klappte, mussten wir doch den Flieger nehmen. Dafür hatten wir herrliche Sicht auf die schneebedeckten Gipfel des Thienschangebirges. Die russische Bahn hat aber trotzdem frech von meinem Konto abgebucht.
    In Taschkent angekommen, ließ sich ein aufdringlicher Taxifahrer nicht abschütteln. Er erwieß sich im Nachhinein aber als sehr hilfsbereit. Er fuhr uns zum Bahnhof, an welchen die Züge nach Samarkand starten und verhalf uns durch Vordrängeln zu einer Fahrkarte.
    Dummerweise ist gerade ein Feiertag in Usbekistan. Man feiert die Unabhängigkeit von Russland. Und wie unsere nette Zugbegleiterin sagte, hat der gute Präsident aus dem einen freien Tag gleich eine freie Woche gemacht.
    Das kommt an beim Volk.
    Read more

  • Day47

    Xayrlashib Seidenstraße

    September 2, 2018 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Was soviel heißt wie Auf Wiedersehen.
    Gestern Abend kamen wir mit zwei Männern am Nachbartisch im Restaurant ins Gespräch. Sie waren aus Afghanistan. Das liegt nicht viel mehr als 250 km entfernt. Das war uns gar nicht so bewusst. Die Grenze zum mysteriösen Turkmenistan ist noch näher.
    Unseren letzten Tag in Buchara verbringen wir zunächst mit Shopping (Ute) und Chillen (ich). Zu meiner Entschuldigung muss ich anführen, dass mich eine Kombination aus Erkältung und Magen/Darm erwischt hat.
    Unser Vermieter fragte mich verschämt, ob ich nicht für ihn ein Bier kaufen könnte. Die Frau sei gerade aus dem Haus und damit die Gelegenheit günstig. Für Moslems offenbar gar nicht so einfach. Hab ich natürlich übernommen und mir ging's gleich viel besser.
    In der Altstadt ist allerorten laute Musik zu hören. Wir finden weitere Medresen und das älteste Mausoleum Bucharas. Es ist heiß und windig und man hat das Gefühl ständig von einer Staubschicht überzogen zu sein.
    Am Abend kehren wir dann nach Taschkent zurück. Da alle Züge schon seit einer Woche ausgebucht sind, bleibt uns nur der Flieger.
    Read more

  • Day15

    Tashkent

    July 16, 2017 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    We leave Khojand City and drive a few hours to the Uzbeckistan border crossing. A short line and the only hassle being the need to roll our luggage approximately 5 football fields in length to cross the border and pick up our new transport on the Uzbeck side. A few hours later and we arrive at the Hotel Uzbeckistan, a Soviet era concrete hotel that faces Tashkent's central square. At 6 we head out for an orientation walk and pass by many monuments starting with the statue to Amir Timur in the park across from our hotel. The city has a collection of 19th century Cszarist buildings from when Russia initially arrived and used Tashkent as an Outpost. We pass by the house of an exhiled Romanov Prince, the statue of the weeping mother, a WW 2 memorial, the statue of Uzbecks's symbol, other monuments, wide boulevards, beautifully landscaped and then we go to an outdoor restaurant that is lively with local families, they even have a projector and start playing an outdoor movie. One of the house specialties is rose shaped potato dumplings with tomato sauce, which turn out to be huge plate filling monsters. The next day is a free day, so I head out with Canela and Chris and we take a taxi to the Russian Orthodox Church. Minor problem as our non English speaking driver takes us to the Catholic Church (who knew there was a Catholic Church) , I show him the picture and we set out again and enjoy a moment of camaraderie when we arrive. We enter the church with a service in progress. The music from the choir is very spiritual, there are a few woman in the main sanctuary, devotedly praying to icons with the service proceeding on the side sanctuary. We sit in the courtyard and listen and are joined but a Russian women who seems fascinated by us. Eventually we leave and play taxi roulette again to head to the Musuem of Applied Arts, set in a 19th century Romanov mansion, the stunning interior has a display of quilts, ceramics and other local artisan creations. A few of the interior room are simply stunning in their tile work. Next we walk the ten minutes to the metro and experience the Musuem quality Cosmonaut Station. The metro is wonderful, clean, beautiful stations, not overcrowded but filled with locals who all offer us their seats. We get off by Choszu Bazaar and check out the Madrrassa that is now used as a learning center. We head back by metro to our hotel and a young women offers to guide us through the train transfer. She is studying English and when I tell her I'm from NY, she says that's her dream - to visit. This is a response I got through out Tashkent when telling people where I'm from. After a rest, we head for a session with students from the elite English school, where they tell us about their program to supplement their English education. The students average age 16 and are all eager to show their progress. We return to the hotel in time to witness the entrance of a wedding, a huge affair that is taking place in the hotel ballroom. Beautiful seeing how stylish everyone looks. Dinner for some of us at Assorte restaurant - choices of Sushi, Korean, European and Uzbeck.Read more

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Aktepa

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