Silky Road to Samarkand

Tarmac road the whole way from Tashkent to the Silk Road city of Samarkand. OK, so the road wasn’t exactly silky smooth, but it was pretty good for Central Asian roads. I left Tashkent about 8.00am Sunday morning and was in Samarkand by about 1.30pm. The roads were lined by vendors trying to sell melons, which are obviously in season! There were also rows of stalls along the roadside operated by peopleselling cold drinks – and it was a hot day today, so they probably did OK.

Melons for sale
Melons for sale

On arrival at the B&B, the friendly host showed me my room and then ushered me to a lounge area so that I could drink tea before registering or carrying in my luggage. I’m not a tea drinker, but I obliged and must say it was quite relaxing after five hours on the road in a sweaty vehicle.

A relaxing spot for tea
A relaxing spot for tea

 

I was then surprised to be invited to bring the Defender inside! Rather than leave it parked outside the B&B, the owner told me to park it inside the narrow entrance, behind a closed gate. Can’t ask for better vehicle security than that!

Defender parked inside the B&B
Defender parked inside the B&B

With the Defender secure and my luggage in my room, I set off across the street to see the nearby Registan Ensemble with its three madrasahs. A very impressive site that dates back to the 15th century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Madrasah at the Registan
Madrasah at the Registan
Inside one of the medresahs at the Registan
Inside one of the medresahs at the Registan
Entrance to one of the souvenir shops inside the Registan
Entrance to one of the souvenir shops inside the Registan
Silk scarves are for sale everywhere
Silk scarves are for sale everywhere

Next on the list was the Bibi-Khanym Mosque that is currently undergoing renovation. This mosque is also within a short walk of the B&B.

Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mosque
Bibi-Khanym Mausoleum
Bibi-Khanym Mausoleum

The main bazaar is adjacent to the Bibi-Khanym Mosque. By 4.00pm in the afternoon, it was in the process of closing down, but I had a wander around and took a few photos. The place was filled with a lovely smell of spices.

Spices in bazaar
Bazaar fare
Spices in the bazaar
Spices in the bazaar

I’m here in Samarkand for three nights, so will have time to do some exploring of the old city. My biggest challenge at the moment has been getting photos onto the blog. The wifi at the B&B is fine for emails and general browsing but uploading photos takes hours. I’ve had to find a cafe with wifi for lunch so that I can post some updates.

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