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Silk Route Project Craig and Simon are currently travelling from India to Istanbul with the fantastic support of World Nomads. On behalf of Footprints, World Nomad's charity, they will be visiting of a number of projects along the route to deliver supplies of essential medicines to impoverished children.

Paging Mr Timur you have your country back

UZBEKISTAN | Thursday, 5 October 2006 | Views [1851]

Well we have just spent 2 weeks soaking up the culture of Uzbekistan, this is where its at for Central Asia which is obvious by the amount of tour buses pushing the poor Ladas off the road. We started of in Tashkent which is your basic C.A. captial city lots of resteraunts serving western food plus still looking very Russian, unfortunatly there is really no Uzbek culture here as it has all been imported since Uzbekistan got its independence and the President needed a new branding for his govenrment and he found it in Timur Lang a 14th century mongul who got all his inspiration from Gengis Khan (in fact he outstripped Ghengis big time). President Islam Karimov has decided that this is the guy for them and has built a ton of monuments in Tashkent but with none of the same quality as the buildings of Samarakand or Bukara.

But I digress after Tashkent we made our way down to Samarakand there we find the Registan built by Timurs family in the 15th century, and what a place it really is amazing to behold, although it is overly renovated and alot of the buildings look really really clean plus they are surrounded by lots of old Soviet buildings which really does take away from the magic of the place, plus inside all of the monuments are people selling every little bit of junk that they can' it's ubfortunate that you cannot stand alone for 5 minutes to admire these archetechtual feats without someone coming up to you and trying to sell you something imported from China.  

After Samarakand we made our way back to Tashkent so we could pick up our visa for Turkmenistan and Azerbijan, which to our suprise were delivered with no questions asked , so we jumped back on the train and made our way to Bukara, this place was more like it it hasn't had the facelift that Samarakand has had, lots of great monuments to see especially the minaret which has been standing there for over 1000yrs even Mr Khan didnt knock it down because he was so overwhelmed by its sheer verticality, unfortunatly the Red Army had a bit of a go at it but its still there and its still awesome . Khiva was the next stop before we venutre into the wilds of Turkmenistan, again it was a realy great place to be, especially staying within the city walls.

Too sum up Uzbekistan was a bit of a dissapointment especially after such great places as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, but I suppose it cant all be good, I will say the people of Uzbekistan are great and very welcoming especailly after being invited into 2 weddings within the first 5 days. So Mr Bashi here we come I hope your ready.  

Tags: Sightseeing

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