Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hiking in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

We are off to Tajikistan!

On Wednesday, we walked to a less touristy part of Samarkand. It's actually a nice city. Lots of park space, and crews of people constantly cleaning and sweeping leaves, even into the evening. 

Beautiful sunny day, with a forecast high of 19C (66F). But with the sunshine, and no wind, it actually felt warmer than that.

Lots of fountains too, many of them actually working!


We walked down a big tree lines boulevard...


There are thousands of these little minivans on the roads here in Uzbekistan.
They sell for the equivalent of about $11,000 USD.


Fancy hotel.

We saw this interesting church, where there are normally mosques.

St. Alexiy Cathedral.

It was built in 1912, however after the revolution of 1917 it served various purposes including a dance hall, military garrison, gym, and dining room.

Only after Uzbekistan independence in 1991 was it returned to worshippers.

It is an interesting architectural design because there are no support columns on the inside.

Another older building.

Back at the guest house, we did some more research on Tajikistan. While Uzbekistan is the most popular and has decent infrastructure, Tajikistan is probably the most primitive. 

We're not exactly sure how our travel day today (Thursday) is going to end up. We're going to take a Yandex-Go taxi to the border, then another taxi to the town of Panjakent. From there, we are going to try to find a bus that goes towards Dushanbe (the capital), but we want to get off halfway there and try and get a ride to the little mountain town of Sarytag. This is going to be an adventure, because we're really not sure if we'll be able to get transport there, or if when we get there will there be any availability at a guest house if they are even open because the season up there is pretty much over. And if not, will we be able to get a ride back to the main highway and on to Dushanbe?!

We want to stay up there for two nights because there is a hike we want to do in the mountains up there. The weather window looks perfect, although it will be chilly overnight. 

For dinner, we found a decent shishkabob meal...

Actually, one of our better meals out!

The Registan lit up at night.

And a fountain lit up at night.

Ruth and the mounted policeman.

Ruth had read about the mausoleum beside our guest house and that the interior was worth seeing. Against my better judgement, she talked me into playing tourist and we spent 60,000 SOM ($5 USD, $6.75 CAD) to go inside.

The exterior is spectacular. Also, it's free.

The interior is also spectacular...





But it's hard to justify the money to spend five minutes looking at it.

Also, many of these old mausoleums and mosques were just ruins at the beginning of the 20th century and have been rebuilt.

Still impressive though.

Okay, we're off to Tajikistan. You may not hear from us until Saturday, depending on how things go. Wish us luck...

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Record low deal on the Shar Navigator Lift Away Vacuum.

And in Canada...

11 comments:

  1. Yes, good luck! Judi

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  2. They're doing something right. Is it culture, laws and enforcement or a combination? Beautiful place! I'm really interested in Tajikistan.

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    1. The city is definitely kept nice and clean, at least the section that we were in. Part of that is because all the ancient buildings are all under UNESCO and there are strict rules and I beat one of them is to keep the place clean.

      We are looking forward to Tajikistan as well, we won't spend as much time there as the other Stan coutries, it will be about the same amount of time as Turkmenistan but it will give us an idea of what the country is like.

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  3. I wish you a lot of luck and looking forward to Tajikistan. What a great trip!

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    1. Thank you, we are also really looking forward to our visit to Tajikistan. Yes, this is definitely quite the trip!

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  4. Good luck with your travels onward! That meal looked pretty tasty. It's just amazing to imagine the work that went into that mausoleum!

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    1. Thank you Emily! The meal was very tasty, we totally enjoyed it and it wasn't greasy either. Yep, that is a lot of work for sure. I wonder how much of the work inside is still original or close to original and how much they had to rebuild? It is amazing to think how they actually managed to do the original work back then with only primitive style tools, compared to what we have available today.

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  5. Glad you spent $5 to see the inside even though it $1 per minute it was worth a life memory. Thank you. Inside is spectacular.

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    1. The inside is amazing for sure and I am glad that we went in to see it, we still think that that overcharged though for such a quick visit. I am glad that we only spent the money on this one place though because we have heard that the other buildings around this area charged more and there really wasn't a lot to see inside other than lots of tourist trinket stalls that are all set up inside. So I think we probably saw one of the prettiest buildings.

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    2. We are glad that you enjoyed it then. :-)

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