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UZBEKISTAN | Tuesday, 24 March 2015 | Views [1075]

Ark, the fortress, Bukhara

Ark, the fortress, Bukhara

THERE IS LITTLE BUT DESERT BETWEEN KHIVA and Bukhara and it took us six hours to reach town.  Norbek is an excellent driver and is proud of his brand new Uzbekan-made Chevy.  We can’t help but marvel that he knows all the turns since there are no signs that we can see but he has made the trip so many times it is hard-wired into him.


    Kalon Mosque

He dropped us at Asia Hotel Bukhara, just outside the old tourist area.  It is another fabulous hotel, much nicer than we would have chosen ourselves.  The internet sucks, but we are still in Uzbekistan, after all.  We met our guide, Larisa, this morning and Norbek drove us to the west side of Bukhara where we began our tour.  It rained overnight and we had to shelter under awnings or inside convenient mausoleums from time to time, but the rain kept the temperature down.


   Lattice work at Ismail Samani Mausoleum 

Bukhara, the religious center of Uzbekistan and Central Asia, has countless mosques, mausoleum and  madrassas, most dating from the 18th Century.  Each is named for a famous amir, scientist or poet — famous to the Uzbeks but unknown to us — so photos were more important than facts.  Each time Larisa told us more about the architecture and the difference between some of the tile works on the buildings, things fell more into place.  If we stayed long enough we might eventually figure it all out.  


   A shortcut through the back streets

Connie coerced Larisa into leading us to Bella Italia for some food we recognized for lunch.  She took a short-cut through some old residential areas with puddled, muddy streets where people not used to seeing tourists looked at us with surprise — and not a little pity.



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