Tuesday, September 6, 2011

samarkand, uzbekistan:

We crossed the border from Osh, Kyrgyzstan over into southern Uzbekistan, which was a long but fairly easy-going process. Before we were officially allowed into the country, we had to declare every item we were carrying that could be of some value (eg macbook, phones, jewellery etc) plus every cent of our money, including all currencies. The border officials were all very nice and helpful, making sure we filled in all of our paper work correctly (we had to re-present this when we left the country). Once we were through it was off to Tashkent, Uzbekistan's capital, through the Fergana Valley. Tashkent was just a quick stop over for the night with our goal being to reach Samarkand as soon as possible.

Samarkand is probably the most famous of all the silk road cities and was the home of Tamurlane, Uzbekistan's famous conquerer. The skyline is dotted with blue domes and minarets which add to the city's wonder. Our first port of call was Tamerlane's mausoleum, Guri Amir, and a wander around the old town. We were instantly besotted with Samarkand and it's architecture - I'll share some more about it in the next few days.

Guri Amir Mausoleum

Samarkand old town


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