The Old Silk Road in O’Zbekiston

Well, what do you know? There is actually a psychiatric disorder called dromomania, which is the desire for frequent wandering about or traveling. There are those who probably think we are afflicted with dromomania, but I don’t really think so. As much as we love to go, we love to be home, too.

Not many Americans visit Uzbekistan each year and that is a shame because it is safe, beautiful, and welcoming. Only 16,000 Americans go to Uzbekistan annually. By comparison, 6.2 million Americans visit Paris every year. But there are loads of visitors from France, Italy, Spain, and Russia in Uzbekistan. No doubt, Uzbekistan is a bargain; more and more foreigners are pouring in each year.

I want to retrace our journey through Uzbekistan and post a few more pictures from our time here. (If you want to read captions, switch to www.lawsonsontheloose.com.) But first, let’s review our route. First we flew into Tashkent. Tashkent is the capital city of Uzbekistan now, but long ago was an outpost along the Silk Road. From there, we flew to Nukus and traveled by van to Khiva, the magnificent walled city of the Khans. After a few days in Khiva, we flew to Bukhara, an old Silk Road oasis city. After three nights in Bukhara, we took the fast train to Samarkand, the capital of the Timur Empire and home of the Registan, a mind-blowing complex of madrasahs, a nearby mausoleum, and also a nearby old bazaar turned into an art gallery. If pressed to pick a favorite city, we’d both go with Samarkand.

One of the first things you notice in Uzbekistan is most of the cars are white. The dust and dirt from construction as well as desert dust and sand don’t show up as easily as on a dark car. There is a Chevrolet factory in Uzbekistan so there are lots of Chevys on the roads which has given the country the nickname “Chevystan.”

 

This is the Center for Islamic Civilization which is under construction in Tashkent. It is expected to be completed in a year for the sum of 200 million. We think the cost will easily surpass that amount. The world’s oldest Koran will be housed there. It dates from the year 642 and is written on leather. Currently, it is displayed nearby; we were not allowed to photograph it.

 

The market in Tashkent. It’s the Uzbek version of Whole Foods. Check out the beautiful tomatoes and spices below. Rick ate so many tomatoes that I feared he might develop a rash.

 

 

Khiva is truly an open-air museum. It was founded around 2,5000 years ago. The old walled part of the city is called Itchan Kala.

 

The roof of the Djuma Mosque is supported by 218 wooden columns.

 

 

Bukhara was our next stop. It is thought to have been inhabited since 3,000 BC.

Char Minor (Four Minarets) – This was actually a gatehouse for a madrassah a long time ago. They are really towers and not minarets. The view from the top is quite nice.

 

Bukhara is a beautiful city. Below are two photos from the rooftop deck of our hotel there.

 

The is Plov, the national dish of Uzbekistan.

 

We took the fast train to Samarkand. It was way more fun than flying.

 

Uzbek wines are quite good, especially the reds. The wine industry hit the skids during the Soviet times when Gorbachev was in power because he essentially destroyed it.

 

This is the incredible Registan in Samarkand. Below is another photo from the Registan.

 

These pictures are from the Shakhi Zinda Necropolis (Women’s Mausoleums) in Samarkand.

 

Friday prayers at the Shakhi Zinda Necropolis.

 

Our group at the Registan.

 

We are back at home on the creek and this is my spirit animal at least until we get restless and go wandering again.

3 Comments

  1. Melinda Young on May 6, 2024 at 3:10 pm

    Wow. Quite the trip.

  2. Pam Morgan on May 6, 2024 at 3:56 pm

    We can’t wait to hear more details of your great trip! Were the maters better than ours?

  3. Judy on May 6, 2024 at 5:26 pm

    Love the pictures and the romance of 3000BC!

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