Where is Tashkent situated?
It sounds a bit oriental I think. If you know now that Tashkent is in Uzbekistan, then you do well! (Zum deutschen Blog hier entlang!)
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I am once again on a trip with clients of the travel agency I work for. We fly overnight from Hamburg via Istanbul to Tashkent. Early in the morning we arrive in the capital of Uzbekistan.
I have to present the collective visa for all other passengers to the authorities. From our German tour operator Gebeco I have already received the customs declaration for all. So we are out faster than the other groups that have yet to complete the form.
Outside Nelly, our Uzbek guide awaits us. No other people are allowed inside the airport building who are not directly involved in the handling of passengers or are passengers themselves.
We drive over an eight-lane road into the city, it’s still so early that there is hardly any traffic and the few cars I see are almost all white. Does this have a deeper meaning ?!
Approximately 2.5 million people live here, plus seasonal workers and day laborers. Tashkent is a kind of closed city, only with permission you can move and live over here. Nevertheless, it is also a multicultural city. Many ethnic groups and different religions have settled in the past centuries. Across Uzbekistan people from about 100 different countries live here.
We pass by beautiful parks and monumental buildings. Wide bridges stretch over man built channels. Uzbekistan is one of the few countries in the world that have no access to the sea. So every drop of water is precious and these beautiful parks with huge trees can only thrive well if they get enough water. In summer it can be very hot here, we can notice this today. Even early in the morning it is quite warm.
Quickly we are in Shodlik Palace Hotel, although it resembles more of a square stone block than a palace, but the rooms are clean, the food ok.
Quickly we refresh ourselves, have some breakfast and off we go. The first stop is already beautiful. A huge open court. We are at the madrassah Barak Chan (Barakhon), it was formerly a madrassah with living cells, today craftsmen are housed here. In a small building across the street an original Koran from the 7th century can be seen. Watch a short video about the whole court right here.
We stroll around the unspectacular old town with its mud houses. Children play in the narrow streets. When they see us, they laugh and are pleased that we take pictures of them.
In the Bazaar
Then we visit a huge bazaar, which is mainly located in a monumental round dome building.
These smells! And this beautiful stacked nuts and dried fruit! Scrumptious!
We women admire the traditional celebration garments that can´t be missed at this bazaar. Then our stomachs growl. We have lunch in a restaurant under shady grapevine near the monument of the Great Earthquake that on 26 April 1966 made about 300.000 people homeless.
After the sleepless night on the plane, we want to shorten the afternoon a little. The metro ride we are going to do on the last day when we come back here again. The metro stations are supposed to be very pretty, but photographing is strictly prohibited!
We visit the Museum of Applied Arts. After you pay your compulsory fee for photography the tour starts. Beautiful handmade tapestries can be found here, fantastic carvings and beautiful tile work, but look for yourself. Here are the pictures ….
Back at the hotel a surprise is waiting for us. We did not realized that a large football stadium is right next door. There tonight a Champions League play will take place: Pakhtakor Tashkent against Al-Jazira. That could get noisy….By the way Pakhtakor Tashekent has won 3: 0!
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On the Silk Road to Khiva is another of my posts.