Hotel Malika Samarkand
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Travel Blogs from Samarkand
... thousand miles to go!) The Uzbek government keeps the currency, the menat, artificially high which results in needing a shopping bag full of notes just to pay for a meal in a street side restaurant. The black market currency gives a better return on the dollar so we used this. Additionally petrol is scarce in the country resulting in the need to find somebody 'in the know' as to where we could locate some. We were lucky in that we found an official fuel station which aided by a note ...
... are covered with colorful designs. According to Muslim tradition, ornamentation could not include images of any living entity - plants, animals, people - because such creations were the work of Allah, and artists should not put themselves in the role of God. A clever workaround was found, however. Images of flowers and animals were occasionally used but they were always mythical, never recognizable as a real species.
The tiles ...
... cook in the tombs. According to the guidebook this is Uzbekistan's most beautiful monument, and the photo permit is priced accordingly at 4000 Sum. Maybe we are just sated with turquoise domes; the many different styles of decoration are interesting - mosaic, majolica tile, glazed terracotta, painting - but we have seen more beautiful things on this trip.
Our final lunch at last allows us to encounter plov, the national dish of Uzbekistan, made preferably by ...
... as well as boys (and was assassinated by a cabal of aristocrats and clerics for his pains). Some school groups are also taking the tour and we are invited to pose with them in photos.
The golden domed mosque in the Tilla-Kari madrassah is breathtaking, decorated inside with 27 kg of gold leaf. The regular geometrical patterns are pleasing and the effect is not that of the bling we have seen in other overdecorated places. The 17th ...
... Registan, although, as far as I’ve heard, the square is the most impressive site.
Returning to the hotel, we checked email, then Paul and the kids went out for dinner. I joined them around 9pm, and we walked to the Registan to see if it were lit up (as we could see that they were installing lights up). It was not really lit, which was sad, so we returned to the hotel and had a glass of wine, then went to bed.