Samarkand > Bukhara 285km
Getting some petrol from plastic bottles before we leave town as there are no petrol stations on the way. It is best to get a recommendation of someone selling petrol – the government are trying to close this practice down as there are some who are apparently selling/adding cooking oil.
This guy drove the wrong way up a dual carriage way to come say hello
The road today was a dual carriage-way, with flat mostly agricultural land on either side the whole way.
This is what often happens when we stop for water – we gather a crowd, cars toot as they pass.
Stopped for comca (prounounced somsa) – a nice pastry with a tasty filling, yum. Here is the chef cooking another batch in his oven. The whole time we were sitting in the roadside café, the other people in there just sat and stared – quite used to that now.
Our boutique hotel in Bukhara (Bibi-Khanym Hotel) is in the old town…
…this is the road our GPS took us to get there – oh I do love my little bike, I still managed to bump a pipe at one narrow point between the drain (just the perfect width for our front wheel to drop in) and the wall. Many of the hotels don’t have secure parking around here, but our bikes are in a private courtyard just around the corner. Our host, Bibi, and the staff are just so lovely, nothing was too much trouble.
This is how we always find the top sheet in these countries – folded up at the bottom of the bed under the bedcover – not here but often there is just a single sheet for a king bed – how does that work?
We had organised a tour of Bukhara with a local guide, and because everything is so close it was a walking tour.
We are in the Jewish Quarter so our first stop was the local synagogue
Some Torahs dating back to the 17thC
Bukhara’s beauty is not so much with tiles but in the arty way they laid the brickwork.
The Ark, Bukhara’s oldest structure occupied since the 5thC until early 1920 when it was bombed by the Russans – it is now restored.
The Kalon (Great) Minaret – built in 1127 – 47m tall on a base of bricks and reeds which was an early form of foundation to prevent damage from earthquakes – it obviously works.
Bukhara is a town that has a history in crafts and there are many stalls everywhere, many of the goods are handmade and of course there are the China versions also.
Weaving hand painted silk fabric. This man hand wove my scarf. He operates pedals with his feet, very quick and nimble, and the shuttle flies back and forth – a master in his trade.
Hand done embroidery – they use a fine crochet type needle, also on silk or cotton.
Our time in Uzbekistan has been brief but very enjoyable. The people are so friendly and really want to help you, and always want to communicate. We have learnt a lot of the history about the Old Silk Road. Tomorrow we are off to our next country, Turkmenistan.