White Mulberries and Blue Mosques.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
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Trip End Dec 31, 2018


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Hotel Atlas

Flag of Uzbekistan  ,
Wednesday, June 8, 2011


White mulberries?

Yes, the trees are everywhere and in fruit in Uzbekistan. Luscious and juicy, but without the stains on the fingers and clothes, we enjoy eating heaps of them. 

Another quirky thing about Uzbekistan is the money. The highest value note in circulation is 1,000. This is around .50c Australian. So to carry around money requires a huge stack and lots and lots of counting. Dinner for the two of us would cost maybe 25,000 Lek so we need to count out 25 of these notes for equivalent of $A12.50.  

A bus ride has taken our small group from Samarkand to Bukhara one of the holiest cities on the silk route (if you judge this by the amount of Mosques and Madrases!). The weather is hot to very hot, peaking around 40 degrees in the middle of the day. We have a guided walking tour by a local tour operator that takes around 5 hours and we see so so many ancient and historic sights our brains are addled by both the information, glorious monuments  - and the heat. 

The people of Uzbekistan are a delight. They are very friendly and the older women wear very bright coloured loose dresses, whilst some of the younger ones are moving into western dress. This is a very liberal Muslim society with hardly a headscarf in sight. Many Uzbeks have their teeth replaced by gold and a big smile reveals their flashes of gold. They do not hassle or hustle but shyly show off their handicrafts for sale.

On the second afternoon, I headed off with Fiona and Jen from our tour group to the hamman, to get a two hour exfoliating, scrubbing, washing, and massaging the old fashioned way. We emerged squeaky clean, just in time to join the rest of our group for a dinner and culture show of traditional music and dance, combined with a more modern fashion parade of clothes with a distinctive Uzbek flair.
 
Footnote: Historic Centre of Bukhara is UNESCO Heritage Listed.
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