Uzbekistan – Day 6 May 3rd

DAY 7 – 04/05/18

Breakfast at the hotel.

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Morning transfer to Gijduvan city for visiting  visit a local pottery house known for its design and coloration.

There was a group of school children at the pottery – they wanted to practice their English but shushed by the master potter.

 

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We saw some of his ceramic work, his wife’s embroidery and was serenaded into the bargin

 

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Come back to Bukhara – known for silk weaving and golden embroidery.
We shall visit a Golden Embroidery Centre later see metal chasers, the wood carvers and local puppet makers.

 


Afternoon excursion to excursion to Sitori-i-Mokhi khosa, the summer residence of the last emir of Bukhara – see the last emirs collection of gifts, Chinese porcelain, the Russian cut Glass and Crystal vases.

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The most interesting and rich collection is of local Suzzane Embroidery from the countryside

 

 

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Onto the puppet maker.

 

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A walk round the square,

 

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Onto dinner with a demonstration of the making of plov, the national dish of Uzbekistan.

 

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Today we shall have our dinner at an old Jewish merchant house now called Akbar’s.
House where the owner has collection of old Bukharan textiles and needle point embroidery.

 

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Uzbekistan – Day 7 May 4th

DAY 6 – 03/05/18

Breakfast at the hotel

Bukhara is the centre for local artisans, and we will be able to watch many at work on a variety of handicrafts at the Bukhara Artisan Development Centre. We will spend the day visiting some colourful local markets, where the Karavan Saray (Trade Domes) and former madrassahs offer splendid, colourful handmade “Suzani” production and gold embroidery, as well as other forms of textiles, clothing, jewellery, carpets and costumes. Suzani means “needle work” in Tajik language. You will also have some time at leisure to explore the town and its rich, colourful shops on your own.
City tour in Bukhara includes: Ismael Samani Mausoleum (the tomb of representatives of Samanids’ dinasty at the end of IX – beginning of X),

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 Chashma Ayub Mausoleum (Spring of Job – XIV),.

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Bolo-Hauz Mosque (beginning of XX),.

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Citadel Ark (IV) – city in a city, Poi Kalon Ensemble (Pedestal of the Great), religious heart of Sacred Bukhara, consists of Minaret Kalon (XII), Kalyan Mosque (XII), Miri Arab Madrassah (XVI),  Ulugbek’s Madrassah (1417).

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A day of site seeing

Onto a market – half a kilo of green tea cost me about 70p.

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Lunch in the shade.

More site seeing then to a carpet factory. The women can work there until they are 40 – the very close work takes atoll on their eyes and back. The carpets were beautiful and I appreciate why they are so expensive.

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In the evening we were entertained with traditional dancing and a fashion show.

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Followed by people watching from the restaurant terrace.

 

Uzbekistan – Day 5 May 2nd

Before breakfast I returned to the walled city for a last look around – before all the tourist stalls had been set out. It was so peaceful watching as people came and went.

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In old days, route from Khiva to Bukhara lasted more than a month. Today it takes 6-7 hours by vehicle, through mysterious red desert “Kyzyl-Kum”, the territory of “Khorezm”, which was called in the past as a “State of Thousand and Hundred Cities”. What kind of secrets are buried in this desert, this is something what archeologists and historians will be trying to find in the future. Meanwhile, you are invited to view the exotic landscapes of desert with old Amudarya River (Oxus). Photo stop at Amudarya river.

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After breakfast we stopped off at a supermarket for water and snacks  for the long journey ahead, Vodka about a pound sterling a litre.

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Out through the town and into the countryside – there were very few loos on the way but at one stop  I spotted a yurt on the other side of the road so went to investigate.

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We stopped off at the viewing point – nobody dared venture down to the WC!

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This was the only place I saw evidence of USSR presence – an abandoned site but a good place to stop for tea.

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Arrival to Bukhara, check-in to the hotel Asia Bukhara
Holy Bukhara, homeland of Ibn Sino (Avicenna), loved city of all saints and worldwide known philosopher – cheery Hodja Nasriddin, lively, noisy and luxurious capital of Emirs, rich man of all nationals and patrons. When you hear “Splendor of East” – it is Bukhara!

 

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Uzbekistan – Day 4 May 1st

DAY 4 – 01/05/18

Breakfast at the hotel.
05.00 – Transfer to the airport for morning flight to Urgench.  The flight time is 1 hr 40 mins.

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And transfer to Khiva, hotel accommodation.

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The plane was slightly better than the one we flew from London in, a journey over the desert and salt lakes.

Then we were taken to Khiva: Hotel “Asia Khiva” 4*. A bit of a building site at the back but our room overlooked the walled city of Khiva. We were soon out having a walking tour within the high walls.

 

Kiva

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I learnt that this young lady had recently got engaged – hence her white dress.

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Into the museum.

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And a walk up to the top of a minaret.

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A beer before dinner.

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And the evening’s entertainment.

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Uzbekistan – Day 3 April 30th

DAY 3 – 30/04/18

In 2007, the country widely celebrated the 2000th anniversary of Margilan – This is another city in the list of  famous historical cities of Uzbekistan with a millennia history. Located in the south of the Fergana Valley, Margilan lies in a picturesque place that formerly was right at the crossroads of trade caravans from China to the West and vice versa. The origin of Margilan is closely related to the opening of the Silk Road. Even though the birth of city is not regarded to this ancient caravan route, then certainly the Silk Road made  Margilan  the center of silk and chief keeper of its secrets. As far back as in the 10th century Margilan  –  the largest city in the Fergana Valley  –  was widely known for its silk products on far West and East. Since time immemorial, it is famous for great masters – craftsmen of silk fabrics such as adras khan-atlas, and many others. Beautiful silk, manufactured in the city and its surroundings, was exported  to  Europe  and  the  East  along  the  ancient  Great  Silk  Road  routes  into  Baghdad,  Kashgar,Khurasan,  Egypt  and Greece. Even today Margilan considers as the silk capital of Uzbekistan. It produces the famous khan-atlas, woven and dyed by hand under the ancient technology. Amazing in beauty and originality Margilan embroidery – Suzanne and skullcaps say about  the  variety  of  beautiful  Margilan  atlas.

Today we were in a convoy of cars – thanks to our driver we had a great journey.

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To the silk factory at Yodgorlik where we saw the silk worms feeding on mulberry leaves. The farmers are sold silkworm eggs then they look after them until the cocoon stage then they are sold back to the government.

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Most people shopped, bought silk fabric but nothing caught my eye so I went for a walk just outside the compound.

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After lunch to a small museum.

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Then to the wood carver.

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A scenic ride back in the car to Tashkent.

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Arrival and hotel accommodation. Miran Hotel

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We were all too tired to leave the hotel after such a long day.

Uzbekistan- Day 2 April 29th

DAY 2 – 29/04/18

Breakfast at the hotel.

This was early as we had to arrive at the train station for the train.

After breakfast at the hotel transfer to railway station for morning train to Kokand 08.05-12.15.

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This wasn’t quite the journey we’ll be taking as this is by car.

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Beautifully comfy train – far more room than the plane. Green tea was on offer at 200 som per cup – about 20p.  We went passed a huge open cast mine, by stunning lakes and rivers; at one point there was a little excitement. Officials walked through the train telling us to draw down the blinds and stay in our seats. Mahmood, the guide, explained that we must obey the instructions until we were told we could open the blinds. What was it all about? Apparently we were going through a tunnel and we weren’t allowed to see it. What a mystery! I found the whole episode amusing. It wasn’t until the next day we looked at the map and found the tunnel was through a finger of land in Turkmenistan.

Arrival Kokand and visit Khudayar Khan’s Palace (19 c.).

 

Juma Mosque and Minaret (19 c.)

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Necropolis of Modarikhan (19 c.).

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There were several couples dressed in their wedding finery – it is the custom to have their photos taken at famous monuments.

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Then proceed to Rishtan  (50km) and visit  ceramic workshop of Mr. Rustam Usmanov  – Rishtan is the oldest center of ceramic art in Central Asia. The famous technique of glazed earthenware which local people use for  their  household  needs  and  which  is  exported  from  the  Fergana  Valley  was  created  here.
The  most  characteristic  coloring  of  this  earthenware  (ceramic)  is  a  turquoise, dark  blue  and brown scheme on a milky-white background. Ishkor glaze, made from ashes, gives the earthenware its beautiful soft shine.

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Rustam  Usmanov  has  built  his  own  complete  pottery  studio  at  home.

Mahmud  Azizov, a  skillful  master of  kuzagar, produces various forms on a moving pottery wheel, which Rustam and his relatives paint by hand.

When reading reviews of this place I expected yet another tourist showroom but instead found a quaint pottery family business.  Rustam’s nephew demonstrated how to throw a pot then a lid. Linda then gamely had a go.

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A welcome cup of green tea – I bought three tiny dishes, three tiny bowls and three tea bowls for €17. I was surprised to learn that $ & € were readily accepted.

Transfer to Fergana city, accommodate and dinner in the hotel.

Fergana: Hotel “Asia Frgana” 4*

Fergana

Not a good night’s sleep – I thought I’d be out straight away but most of the time I lay in a doze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uzbekistan – Day 1 April 28th

DAY 1 – 28/04/18

09:15 Arrival Tashkent

Meet by Uzbektourism Staff inside of the airport and support with custom declarations.

Mamood for Dolores Tours was there to meet us at Tashkent Airport. I had travelled on the group visa so there were no problems entering the country  and we were soon on the coach, driven by Sergai.

Transfer to the hotel for pre-arranged check in. Rest at the hotel.

I was sharing with Judith and we soon settled down for a rest before meeting for a tour of the city. The hotel was modern,  international, and gave me little idea of the country.

Tashkent: Hotel “Wyndham”

Wyndham Tashkent

City tour: Sightseeing in the capital of Uzbekistan, the biggest city in Central Asia, Visit Museum of Applied Art of Uzbekistan.

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Back on the coach for a drive to the next venue. The city was so clean, trees and parks everywhere, modern buildings – not what I was expecting. The USSR had left a great legacy of wide roads so the traffic flowed freely.

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Visit Old City part of Tashkent with Khast-Imam Complex  where the world famous Quran of Caliph Uthman – Ottoman has been preserved. 

We were unable to see the Quran as the building it was houses in was closed.

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Explore Chor-Su Bazaar.

P1020708P1020709P1020710P1020711P1020712P1020713P1020714P1020715I would have liked to have had more time wandering around the market as it was taking me a time to adjust to all the new sights.

 

 

 

 

19:00 Dinner at the restaurant Piligrim.
The restaurant has mixed reviews.

 

After dinner I had chance to change my €s into som at the hotel. The cashier had run out of  money so I could change just €40.00. In return I was given so many notes I couldn’t close my purse. I paid my debt of 40,000 som  for 2 beers – about £4.00 and that was top tourist rate!

Overnight at the Hotel “Wyndham” 5*