Hotel Samarkand Plaza
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For many years I had been dreaming of visiting Samarkand, the legendary city on the silk road with its blue domed madrasa's (Qur'an schools).
In 1370 Tamerlane (Timur Lenk) made it the capital of his Timurid Empire. But what remains of it today was mostly rebuilt by the Russians in the past century. They did a nice job in restauring ...
... showing the stae of these building before the restoration (some might say rebuilding) and while they are magnificent they are not what Timur and his successors built. I took the trip to Shahrisabz, his home town, to see the remains of the buildings there including the vast entrance way to his palace (Ak-Saray). These are unrestored, unrenovated - stabilised maybe but no more. And as one of the books I read says you have the sense, looking at the tile decoration, that the ...
September 22-24, 2014
Abdu Hotel, $15 per person including breakfast
September 22, 2014
Breakfast was served on the covered terrace on large divan beds with pillows for back support. From there we got our first glimpse of the top half of the bright blue tiled domes and main buildings of Registan Plaza. What a sight.
... hoped to score some tourists for his ride back to Osh. Sadly that didn't pan out for him.
Stopped 3 Times
We had a long day ahead and by 9 am we had a taxi pick us up to take us to the Uzbek border. (200 som / $40) Our poor driver got stopped 3 times by police, for no other reason than to shake money out of these people. We watched the driver put a 10 som note between his car papers ...
... purpose was fulfilled, it was abandoned; destroyed by religious zealots in 1449 (after its builder had been executed on orders of his own son), it was only rediscovered by a committed archaeologist named Vyatkin just over a century ago.
All that remains is a giant sextant, now augmented by a brief but excellent museum. It mattered little- here we witnessed the evidence of that nebulous era, albeit at its very twilight, when the Islamic ...