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43 travelers at this place

  • Day12

    Bukhara to Samarkand

    May 19, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    My day sightseeing in Bukhara was quite good, my guide was a retired lady who used to work at the museum there and spoke excellent English, she was proud to tel me that she was one of the guides for Hillary Clinton when she visited some years back.
    After the day sightseeing I went to the hammom (bath house), this is quite a few centuries old and was an interesting experience, at the end I certainly was scrubbed clean.
    Today I spent the morning looking at more Bukhara sights, alas these were mainly Muslim cemeteries which were boring, however the summer palace of the last Emir was quite interesting.
    Then off for the 4 hour drive to Samarkand.
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  • Day21


    August 18, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Na al dat natuurlijk schoon in Kirgizië hadden we zin in wat cultuur (en stiekem ook in gezellige café's en lekkere restaurantjes). We zochten dit in Oezbekistan en werden niet teleurgesteld door het prachtige, historische Samarkand. Dit was de hoofdstad van het enorme rijk van Amir Timur in de 15e E en hij liet er kolossale moskeeën, madrassa's en mausolea oprichten.Read more

  • Day31

    Islamic beauty

    June 15, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    The Registan takes your breath away by its sheer size and expanse. However, there were 2 building complexes that really impressed me with their architectural beauty.

    Bibi Khanum Mosque was built in honour of Timurlane's chief wife, Saray Mulk Khanum. Financed from the spoils of his campaigns to Delhi (1398) and built with the help of 95 imported Indian elephants, this monumental structure was built in haste. Consequently, the walls started to crumble almost as soon as they were finished. Apparently Timur was so keen to get it built that he tossed gold coins and scraps of barbecued meat to encourage workers. It's been suggested that recent restoration work has been done in a similarly hasty fashion. Regardless, it is still very beautiful. This was also the first place we'd been to where the interior had been left unrestored- it felt somehow more authentic than anything I'd seen previously.

    The second, and even more impressive, is the Shah-I-Zindah, a visually absorbing necropolis. Basically a street lined with tombs of the rich and famous dating from 1372 to 1460, it's simply stunning. The decorations are really what sets this apart as artistically superb. Carved terracotta and majolica tilework is arranged in complex floral designs, with stylized calligraphy framing these images, all in various shades of blue.

    Samarkand certainly lived up to its reputation as a place of exotic romanticism, even in the modern times.
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  • Day216

    Samarkand, du Schöne!!

    November 27, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ -1 °C

    Oh Samarkand! No name incites more the flavours of oriental fairy tales, the scent of spices, the rustling of silk and the glimmer of treasures in me than SAMARKAND.
    And what a pleasant surprise this city was from the moment I drove through the gate! Wide boulevards constructed during the UDSSR aera but without that Soviet union "flair". Clean, everywhere those broom ladies fighting the dropping autumn leaves, and, I can hardly believe it, the Drivers aren't by far as as pushy as in Dushanbe.
    But then of course there are the cultural highlights. The splendor of the Registan, the Bibi Khanym comlex and many mosques and many mausoleums more...... i was totally mesmerized. As you do or might not know I have this middle eastern thing going so this was right up my alley.
    As it was my luck, on Wednesday's they have a huge light show at the Registan, and I just happened to drop by on my evening walk with Rex. It was spoken in chinese, so I can only assume a chinese tour group ordered it as we others had to watch from further away but for free.
    Today I had to say good bye to SAMARKAND, but before leaving I had to get a health certificate for Rex before to enter those even more bureaucratic states of Turkmenistan and Iran.
    A little side note: I was there alresdy yesterday but found the opening hours to be from 8-11. So when I left I wanted to turn in that little alley. Alongside every road there is a ditch and i am quite panicky about those. And when doing my three point turn, pointing my noise towards the MIDDLE of the road, suddenly kabbummmm, I am in this ditch with me left front wheel. Right away there are two men and after putting in my 4WD they are pushing me out of trouble again. They told me they do this all the time because this ditch has broken in and now runs into the middle of the road. (Nobody thought of getting this repaired???) Piuhhh!!! Now I have sunk intro 2 ditches and broken through one canal lid.
    So I went to the veterinary services with Rex to get that certificate that he is healthy and all vaccinations are current.
    Thinking they will check the dog I take him with me. When entering the it doesn't look anything like a vet practice but more like an office. Two elderly men sitting on desks and a woman asks me for my concern. I tell her what I need. Nobody speaks English so google comes in handy. Long conversations ensue. Where do I come from, where do I go to, where did I live on Samarkand, when did I go where ... has Google translated googledigook again? What had this got to do with the health of my dog? In the meantime I am told my dog cannot be in the office. I thought you need to check his health?? No, only stamp. I mean this is fine buy me, but I need a certificate. Yes, wait for specialist
    So Rex and I are moved into a room that looked like a classroom and the not English speaking lady keeping me company. How exciting! And we are waiting and waiting. 1 1/2 hours later I am told I need to go to another town closer to the border, that's where I get my stamp. Really??? You needed that long to tell me that? But I have to swallow my frustration, he doesn't understand a word I am saying anyway.
    This inefficiency in these countries can be extremely frustrating. They have rules eg for us travelers, that nobody knows what to do with. In Tajikistan for instance you get a 45 day visa, your car however only 15 days. So you need to go and get this permit for the car extended, but not at 14 days and if it is later than 15 days you might get a fine. So you go to that office on the 15th day and they haven't got a clue what to do. Or are they waiting for some bakshish? Who knows.
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  • Day193

    Tales of 1001 Arabian nights

    September 19, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

    Have you ever read or watched "Aladdin"? Or put your nose into a big old book titled "1001 nights"?
    If you have, you certainly must have dreamt about big palaces in the desert, oasis and camels, beautiful princesses and princes and a kind Sultan reigning over his land. Or maybe you thought about groups of scarf covered bandits, chasing through the dunes on mighty looking horses, holding their long swords high above their heads?
    Uzbekistan's silk road cities Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva give you a good impression of these dreams in real life. Or at least the buildings do. Huge mosques and medressas (education buildings), minarets and mausoleums greet you around every corner. They're very accessible, some with free entry, some cost a marginal fee, every one of them a monument taking you to a different time. Yet, some of them are still actively used in their old purpose as well.
    I was deeply impressed by all the handcrafted tiles and mosaics adorning the in- as well as the outside of the buildings.
    Taking into account the beauty and uniqueness, of course, you'd barely walk around on your own. But sitting down in a quiet corner, reminiscing all the stories you've heard that are vibrating colorfully in your head, that's something.
    We liked Samarkand's Registan the most, especially during sunset, but go and explore for yourself.
    Just maybe skip the driving yourself part, the desert can get to you after hours and hours of nothing but heat, rocks and sand.
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  • Day35

    Usbekische Bekanntschaften

    August 30, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Davor werden wir dann von 3 jungen Usbeken angesprochen, die unbedingt ihr Englisch trainieren wollen. Sie wollen in Europa oder Deutschland studieren und dann wieder zurück in ihr Heimatland. Uns eröffnet sich nun die Möglichkeit mehr über das Land zu erfahren.

    9 von 10 Autos sind hier Chevrolets. Das liegt daran, dass man für jedes importierte Auto den Kaufpreis nochmal als Steuer zahlen muss. So werden die lokalen Chevrolet Werke vom Staat unterstützt.

    Zum Thema Heirat gibt es auch Neuigkeiten. Entweder der Junge oder die Eltern suchen jemanden aus, dann geht die Mutter des Jungen zu anderen Familie und fragt, ob sie einverstanden sind. Wenn das alles passt, dann können sich die beiden treffen und schauen ob die Chemie stimmt. Ziemlich verrückt für uns, aber ganz normal für die Drei.

    Eine traurige Tatsache erfahren wir auch. Einer der Jungs konnte für sein Praktikum nicht nach Deutschland, weil er dem Dekan kein Geld zahlen konnte. Es wären um die 3000 US$ Schmiergeld gewesen. So trifft die Korruption die Menschen im eigenen Lande.
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  • Day49

    Samarcande 1

    September 22, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Avec Samarcande nous renouons avec le tourisme mainstream et les combats de perches à selfie. Tout est soudainement plus simple et ça nous fait tout drôle. Les bâtiments historiques sont somptueux, leurs couleurs orangées offrant un contraste parfait avec l'azur du ciel. Nous dînons aussi dans le meilleur restaurant qui soit depuis le début de notre voyage !Read more

  • Day35

    Timur's Mausoleum

    August 30, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Wir müssen dringend weiter nach Turkmenistan, da unser Visum schon ab heute gültig ist. Nach einigem Hadern entscheiden wir uns trotzdem noch einen Tag länger zu bleiben.

    Statt des Registan besuchen wir heute das Gur-Emir-Mausoleum, welches auch sehr schön ist.Read more

  • Day36

    Abreise aus Samarkand

    August 31, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Wir schauten uns die restlichen Gebäude um den Registan an und bewunderten alles bei Tageslicht.

    Der Basar in Samarkand überzeugte uns nicht so. Unter einem größeren, fast industriell aussehenden Dach waren alle Stände untergebracht. Urig war dabei nicht viel. Ganz im Gegenteil zum Vortag in Pandschakent.
    Weil wir nun das Wichtigste von Samarkand gesehen haben, machten wir uns weiter in Richtung Buxoro. Die Zeit sitzt uns auf jeden Fall im Nacken.
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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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You might also know this place by the following names:

Samarqand, Samarkand, سمرقند, Самарканд, Samarkando, Samarcanda, Samarcande, סמרקנד, SKD, サマルカンド, 사마르칸트, Samarkandas, Samarkanda, Semerkant, Semerqend, 撒馬爾罕

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