Day 1: Uzbekistan

It's late June in Tashkent, 11am, 32° in the shade (90°F), UV index off the charts, 24% humidity.  A really nice day for this time of year.  We walk to Café Breadly from our house through the mahalla where the workers from the regions have been busy on on all the various house construction/remodel projects since … Continue reading Day 1: Uzbekistan

Day 21: Uzbek Wine

Uzbekistan is hardly world renowned for its contribution to the global viticulture industry, but grapes have been cultivated in Central Asia for more than 2,000 years.  Zoroastrians were famous for their wine making skills, and this tradition survived the muslim conquest into the later middle ages, under Russian Imperial influence, during Soviet times, and through … Continue reading Day 21: Uzbek Wine

Day 25: Manti

Rounding out the national food countdown, today we feature manti, an Uzbek stuffed dumpling, likely spread all over Eurasia by the Mongols in the 13th century, and ever since as a staple food of travelers along the great silk road.  Like lag'mon, manti features prominently as an ethnic cuisine across the Turkic speaking world, and … Continue reading Day 25: Manti

Day 37: Samarkand-Bukhara Silk Carpet Factory

One of the most interesting things to do on a trip to Uzbekistan is to visit a carpet factory.  Central Asia has a long history of carpet making and selling.  Merchants have showcased their best products in the Tim Abdulla Khan trade dome in Bukhara for centuries, and carpet sellers and workshops still exist in all … Continue reading Day 37: Samarkand-Bukhara Silk Carpet Factory

Day 41: Ulugbek Observatory

Affairs of the state often kept Ulugbek from his passion for the stars, but being Sultan comes with its perks.  In addition to founding three madrassas to advance the world's understanding of astronomy and mathematics, the Timurid ruler also built one of the most important observatories of the Middle Ages in his capital city of … Continue reading Day 41: Ulugbek Observatory

Day 44: Ulugbek Madrassa – Registan

Prior to construction of the Ulugbek Madrassa, Registan Square would have been unrecognizable to the the modern visitor.  In the time of Amir Timur, the place where today stands one of the world's most spectacular architectural ensembles was the main market square of medieval Samarkand.  Ulubek Madrassa, built exactly 600 years ago between the years … Continue reading Day 44: Ulugbek Madrassa – Registan

Day 46: Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis

Not unlike some of the other significant historical monuments in Uzbekistan, it is impossible for a short narrative to do justice to the 900 year history of Sah-i-Zinda, a necropolis on the slopes of the ancient city of Afrosiyob in the Timirud capital of Samarkand.  A knowledgable guide is almost mandatory to fully appreciate the … Continue reading Day 46: Shah-i-Zinda Necropolis