Uzbekistan - Splendor of bygone Days

Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too. – Marcus Aurelius

Uzbekistan is certainly a major point of interest on a journey through Central Asia. Along the silk road you can find historical and architectural highlights of ancient centuries.

My path led first to Bukhara. In the evening, when I changed 100 US$ in Uzbek Som, I was a little surprised about the stack of bank notes I received in return. Counting notes was essential in Uzbekistan.

The next day I already went to Samarkand, where I intended to rest for a couple of days. I haven’t stayed in any place more than one night since I left Esfahan. Before I checked into my hotel, I made sure that the bike finally got a decent wash. The last one took place somewhere in Anatolia and in the meanwhile I was travelling several thousand kilometers eastwards.

In Bukhara and Samarkand I used the early morning hours at sunrise to explore the deserted streets and squares before the tourist life took its usual course. There are once again the big architectural masterpieces, which refer to power and glory of past empires, often built by unspeakable violence and excessive urge to rule.

From Samarkand I travelled to Tashkent  and Central Asia was presenting itself from its sunniest side. Already at 9:00 a.m. in the morning, the thermometer rose to 33 degrees. When I entered the capital at noon, temperatures hit the level of 41 degrees Celsius.

Even in shorts and t-shirt you will probably not take long walks and I was actually not travelling with flip-flops. You might have an idea what that means in full motorcycle gear and so I fueled myself with several liters of fluid …  My hotel in Tashkent, a leftover from Soviet times, was badly run down and the staff had little interest to change things. Fortunately, it was only for one night and I was looking forward to leave this glorious place with its friendly hospitality the next morning.

While Uzbekistan had to offer cultural highlights, Tajikistan was waiting with breathtaking off-road adventures and fascinating mountains …