Day 19 and 20: Samarkand – Bukhara: After breakfast we had a short, by the standards of our trip, drive along the Royal Road to Bukhara. We passed an an old caravanserai along the way, but were for some reason permitted only a two minute stop here. Wild frontiers is more into shopping stops than photograph stops.

At Bukhara we were staying at "Sasha and Son", a very nice small hotel, right in the old town. We had a short walk round the town in the afternoon, a whirlwind tour with our surly Uzbek guide, a man who was clearly in the wrong job. Various adjectives come to mind - rude, supercilious, disinterested, unknowledgeable, uncaring. Yes, he really disliked both Western tourists and his job and he went to great pains to make sure that we knew it - perhaps the only bit of knowledge he imparted to us during our 5 days with him.

The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long been a centre of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. The historic centre of Bukhara, which contains numerous mosques and madrassas, has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site

The things to see in Bukhara are

Contemporary London Times reports

In the afternoon we went back to the Silk Carpet warehouse, and bought from Sabina, an (expensive) double sided silk carpet. It was made by two girls knotting different patterns from each side of the rug. It is a magnificent example of the silk weavers craft and took over a year to make. .

Click on any of the thumbnail images to get a larger photo

En route we passed cotton fields in abundance and this last remaining example of a Caravanserai Ensconced at Sasha & Son
It really is quite comfortable here, time to settle in before .. ..lunch, more food. Walk around town. Original ..
puppet maker, lots of mass touristy things like T shirts, local crafts, and Russian Army memorabilia are aplenty.
Three of the old trading domes still exist and one can see craftsmen (and crafts children) at work hammering out their wares
Ismaili Samani mausoleum - using an ancient tradition of baked brick construction to a much higher standard than today . We walked past a myriad of old mosques and madrassas..
..the town still functioned round them Chashma-Ayub Mausoleum Bolo Hauz Mosque (or the mosque of forty pillars, as its 20 pillars are reflected in the pool in front of it , to give you 40).
The Ark is a massive fortress that was built around the 5th century AD. And the gold market - weighing the gold for local buyers ..
..this stuff was not cheap, but there were only locals buying here. Magoki-Attori Mosque Kalyan Minaret and ..
..the beautiful mosques and madrassas that are scattered around it.
Where I bought my Silk Carpet. Well it was for the boys actually, they liked Sabina. It was a magic carpet and they flew home on it.
Around town, they still baked bread, and Chris had a real Hammam , but this is much more of a tourist town than most
The boys meanwhile enjoyed a walk round town and a ride on the donkey and all the other things that small bears do on holiday.
Our evening meal was here, but there were better places to eat.    

On to Khiva

Back to Silk Road journey