Heading to Tashkant :27th day Thurs 8th May

Heading for Tashkant ,a 270 km journey.Reached late afternoon – Two highlights for the day: One being our stop over for lunch,where you will a Mr K Patel,diligently washing the Land Cruiser – rumour has it ,he is starting to enjoy the domestic chores allocated to him.First it was the ironing and now this,so determined was he,that he was almost swept away trying to get water to wash the vehicle! Well done to him,L Cruiser looks as good as new!






Sumarkand and Babar

There is an item of interest I forgot to mention previously about Sumarkand – Babar ( first ruler of Mughal India) was exiled from Samarkand.Rose to power by his determination and strength and set the foundation of the Maghul empire,for his future generations .He also claimed Kenghis khan as a maternal ancestor
Known to be Nobel an kindhearted,a poet an able administrator and a lover of fine arts.He attained his power at the age of 12 ! In 1494 he succeed his father ,but his uncles were greedy and displaced him taking his territory and power
By the 16 th century ,Babar was determined to capture. India and Afghanistan .It was by accident he entered India,fighting fierce battles on the way to finally settle in Agra
The Maghul empire lasted almost 300 years in india from 1526 (Babar > Akbar>Jahangir>Shan Jahan (Taj Mahal) >Aurangzeb to 1857

Probably a good thing for India that Babar got kicked out of Samarkand ,he brought an additional bit of history to India and is doing quite a bit for the tourist industry there!


BIBI-KHANYM MOSQUE – Would have been the jewel of Timur’s empire. Once one of the Islamic world’s biggest mosques! Here’s a brief story – legend has it that Bibi – KHANYM, Timur’s Chinese wife, ordered the mosque built as a surprise while he was away. The architect fell madly in love with her and refused to finish the job unless he could give her a kiss. The smooch left a mark and Timur, on seeing it, executed the architect and decreed that women should henceforth wear veils so as not to tempt other men!!!! So there we have it…







The 3D effect

TILLA-KARI (Gold – covered 3D) Medressa, located in the Registan, was completed in 1660. A prosperous period in the history of Samarkand, highlighted with the mosque’s delicate ceiling oozing gold leaf. The interesting thing here is that the ceiling that looks distinctly dome shaped because of it’s tapered design was in fact FLAT!! It seems, the 3D effect was already around in the 17th century!!





First port of call was THE REGISTAN ( Regi is Sandy ,Stan is place ).A lot of repair work going on in this part of the city,which didn’t take away it’s awesome sight.Surrounded by three of the world’s oldest preserved medressas.They have been slightly damage over the years from numerous earthquakes in the region but still remain well preserved.The oldest of the medressa of the three (Ulugbek Medressa) was finished in 1420

SAMARKAND – Uzbekistan ‘s most glorious city – 26th day Wed 7th May 2014

More information about Sumarkand :

Was probably founded in the 5th Century BC. It was destroyed in 329 BC by Alexander the Great. The city sat on the crossroads leading to China, India and Persia. A thriving city was again obliterated by Chengis Khan in 1220. Timor, in 1370 decided to make Samarkand his capital and over the next 35 years forged a new, almost a mythical city and Central Asia’s economic and cultural epicentre. His grandson Ulugbek ruled until 1449 and made it an intellectual centre as well.
Samarkand has suffered some major earthquakes in the past. Russia’s power and influence started from 1868.

Gardened Guest house we are staying in is pretty cute and right next to the Amir Temur Mausoleum. Breakfast as you can see below, had a local home made touch -



Journey to Sumarkand and initial impressions

25th day Tues 6th May 2014

Uneventful 4 and a half hour journey except for another police check point stoppage ,all be it a minor one – Passports please!!

Initial thoughts as we entered and drove through Sumarkand,was that this too was a lovely ,clean and pleasant city.I should not be surprised any more ,but still am about how well developed some of the cities we have travelled through really are.Guilty of possibly making some incorrect assumptions!

Photos of the city roads,hotel gardens ( still averaging £20 / head hotel accommodation costs per person per night! Curtesy of booking .com and recommendation from Lonely Planet Guide – Airb&b initially)

Photos of The Amir Temur Mausoleum ,Kids playing in the vast open space,a little bit of the night and restaurant .Finally me learning to count the local currency ,which is approx 4,000 Som to the pound – so you are always having to carry wads around with you!