The other Silk Road city in Uzbekistan is Samarkand, where I just spend 1,5 days. Again a lot of bazaars, mosques and medressas, but this time a bit more mixed up with the city.

If you pay a little 'coffee money' to the guard at 05:15 in the morning you can climb one of the minarets of the Registan to see the sunrise.
Afterwards it's possible to roam the Registan without any other tourists (well, since this trick is in the Lonely Planet there where some other people; but nothing compared to the crowds during the day).
I motioned to the guard something that indicated 'How do I get in?', and he mimicked 'Just push'. Nice to be the first one and open the place for business for the day.
It looks great, but this dome was actually added by the Sovjets.
Walking around afterwards in the early morning while it was still cool I came across this school turned museum. An old man passing on the street explained that it was the high school where the president (of almost 20 years) of Uzbekistan was educated. Central asian rulers sure love to build their personal cults...
At first the ticket lady at the trainstation was rudely pointing to the other queue when I asked in English for a ticket. After mumbling the same request in Russian her attitude changed 180 degrees and after answering all sorts of questions about my trip (yes, alone; no, not married; no, didn't come to find a Uzbek wife; going to Kyrgyzstan after) I left with not only a ticket to Tashkent but also a ticket for the 'VIP waiting hall'. It was an amusing place to have a cup of coffee before getting on the train.

1 thought on “Samarkand”

  1. Dear Wouter,

    Most probably things went wrong to your sent pictures last weekend.
    When Matthijs showed up in Hoofddorp last thursday, he told me that your visum for China was oke,
    but the country in between coarsing you some trouble(time’
    Last week pictures were super ans gave my a good understanding where you are and what your so doing.

    Goodluck and suc6, Pa

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