After three days of cycling, we left the bikes at the hostel today and went exploring the historic city of Samarkand, once one of the greatest cities of Central Asia due to the strategic location along the Silk Road.
Bad weather for once
Last night there was heavy rain here in Samarkand, and the morning started very cloudy and the temperatures were much lower than yesterday. In general this is good for sightseeing, but for photography some sunshine would be nice. And even though we thought the weather is going to improve in the afternoon, actually the opposite was the case and starting late afternoon rain set in.
A handful of sights
Even though Samarkand is a very old city, the number of actual sights is not too high. Basically there is the Gur-e Amir Complex that we already visited yesterday, then the famous Registan area with several Madrasahs that are quite well preserved, and the impressive bazar where you can buy basically almost everything from fruits and vegetables to bike repair parts, electronics, and so on. It took us a bit more than half a day to visit all of these sights, the rest of the afternoon we spent relaxing around our hostel as the weather was not inviting at all to be outside.
As Lucie with her German / Belgian friends also arrived in Samarkand and we met Mateusz from Poland and his German friend in our hostel, we went for dinner in a typical Uzbek restaurant with a group of seven. We basically had salads, soups and of course Shashlik, the grilled meat. Also we tried some more Uzbek wines, but as the wines we tried in Bukhara they were not comparable to the wines we can buy in Western Europe. And to finish the experience we had a shot of Vodka.
On the road again starting tomorrow
The next three days we have to cycle around 260 km again to reach the border to Tajikistan. In theory, there is a border crossing only around 40 km from Samarkand, however that one is closed already for several years so we won’t even try to get in there and take the additional 200 km. After that we will spend between 40-45 days in Tajikistan in the mountains, which will definitely be the highlight of my bike tour.