The 5-stans of the Middle East

cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 7 Jun, 2008 02:35 pm
Registan Square: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008237.jpg

One of the madrassa building: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008239.jpg

Example of a door: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008253.jpg

And another: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008423.jpg
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 09:29 am
Having visited Xian twice, I had always had the impression that it was that city that was the eastern terminus of the Silk Road. However, when we were in Khiva, a map showed that the actual eastern terminus was Osaka, Japan. A little Google search indeed confirmed the fact that Osaka was active on the Silk Road; it was how Japan integrated not only buddhism, but advanced culture and technology arrived in Japan from Europe and North Africa. This international trade influenced the Japanese culture in unique ways that continues to live through the arts and crafts in Osaka and Nara even today.

I thought this was interesting enough to share.

My wife and I are heading out to the Sunnyvale Art and Wine bazaar today, so I will try to post pictures later in the day.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 12:14 pm
This man demonstrated for us his ability to play about a half dozen musical instrumets: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008267.jpg

We were treated to a private fashion show at this ladies boutique:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008317.jpg

Some of her fashions (a very small sample): http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008280.jpg



Our half-day journey to Tajikistan archway: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008335.jpg

The archaeological site at Old Penjikent: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008342.jpg

Some of the (questionable) artifacts at the small museum at the site: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008351.jpg
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 02:03 pm
At Victoria's boutique; a Renoir-isk garden: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008321.jpg

Plates for sale at a madrassa: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008457.jpg

Men for sale: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008427.jpg

Uleg Bek's observatory: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008537.jpg
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 02:09 pm
At Uleg Bek's observatory (a clock?): http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008538.jpg

The Gir-Emir Mausoleum: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008488.jpg

The steps at the mausoleum: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008494.jpg

A scene at the mausoleum: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008499.jpg

NOTE: Tamerlane's mausoleum is located at a different location than the Gur-Emir mausoleum.
Central Asian men at Tamerlane's mausoleum:

Central Asian young ladies at Tamerlane's mausoleum: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008441.jpg
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Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 02:46 pm
THese pictures are so interesting and captivating, Tak - as always, we travel vicariously through you.

I am taken by these two beautiful girls - amazing

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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 04:34 pm
Except for the two young ladies, from left to right from our group are (man with hand on chin) is Sid, our resident physician; Jack, my roommate from Florida; Ken from Carmel-London; and Karen, the lady who took two notebooks worth of notes during our journey.
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Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 04:44 pm
cicerone imposter wrote:
At Victoria's boutique; a Renoir-isk garden: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008321.jpg

Oh wow! That is fantastic!
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Reply Sun 8 Jun, 2008 07:46 pm
^^ I agree.

I haven't looked through the entire series, ci, but I'm sure they are all as fascinating as these last few pages. Thanks for sharing.

Hope you're doing well.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 11:33 am
The mausoleum crowd increased: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008507.jpg

I think this is a painting of Ulug Bek (son of Tamerlane), the mathematician and astronomer: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008539.jpg

They cooked up this huge pot of pilaf for dinner: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008558.jpg

This was the restaurant where we had dinner w/pilaf: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008559.jpg

Many of the madrassas and buildings in Central Asia had these types of windows (I love them): http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008551.jpg

We were provided with a private dance show at our hotel: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008562.jpg

Dancers: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008566.jpg

A poster we saw during our walk (I believe it's an ad for Madam Butterfuly): http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008579.jpg

Along the Silk Road to Bukhara: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008583.jpg

A generation plant: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008587.jpg

We had a stop here to look at this fenced area and across the street where there is a water well: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008590.jpg

We saw this wedding (the bride bowed to us and clapped): http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008604.jpg

We had a tour of this ceramic factory: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008620.jpg

A sample of their ware: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008615.jpg

Our accommodations in Bukhara for three nites: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008624.jpg
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cicerone imposter
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 03:35 pm
Bukhara is a wonderful city with its share of madrassas, historic sites, and home to Bukharian Jews who settled here during Roman times, and left after 1925.

The last emir of Bukahara was Muhammad Alim Khan (1880-1944), but its past included many notable people including Muhammad Ibn Ismail Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Mughirah Ibn Bardiziyah al-Bukihari (810-870)m /abu Ali ibn Sina (980-1037) - physician with encyclopedic knowledge; Blyami and Narhskhi (10c) - outstanding historians, and many more. This oasis has been inhabited since 3000BC. Bukhara was a vassal state of the Persian Empire and later passed into the hands of Alexander the Great.

The silk trade created a growth boom which ended around 350BC, and after the fall of the Kushan Empire, Bukhara passed into the hands of Hua tribes from Mongolia and into a steep decline. Bukhara became the intellectual center of the Islamic world, and many scholars wrote their treaties here. The most prominent, Imam al-Bukhari, born in Bukhara, gathered most sayings of Prophet Mohammad. The city was destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1220.

Bukhara continued to play a significant role in regional cultural and religious life into the 19th century. Damezon wrote "The madrasahs in Bukhara are famed throughout Turkestan. Students come here from Khiva, Kokand, Gissar and even from Samarkand and also from many Tatar regions. There are about 60 madrasahs in Bukhara that are more or less successful."

Now, on with the show.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 04:00 pm
Our Tour Director's hotel: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008634.jpg
Addition of five rooms and dining room: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008629.jpg

Our first day orientation walk of Bukhara:
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cicerone imposter
Reply Mon 9 Jun, 2008 07:54 pm
Door treatment: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008662.jpg

Statue on way to New Town: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008686.jpg

Embroidery: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008663.jpg

Children on the street: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008668.jpg

Our room at Sasha and Son: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008669.jpg

Our local guide: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008670.jpg

Spice vendor: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008656.jpg

The Arq: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008778.jpg

The emir's palace: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008852.jpg

Minaret: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008753.jpg

Emir's palace reception hall: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008858.jpg

Emir's palace vase from Japan: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008885.jpg

The Kalyan minaret: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008779.jpg

An important madrassa: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008784.jpg

Inside court: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay2008788.jpg
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Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2008 04:58 am
neat pics CI.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2008 02:59 pm
Thanks, farmerman. Glad you dropped by to take a peek.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2008 03:18 pm
On Wednesday, May 21, we departed Bukhara with a full day drive to Khiva, located about 270 miles from Bukhara, is one of the best preserved cities along the Silk Road.

The walled-in city is the museum, and our hotel was located only but a block away from the west gate.

Khiva has a very long history with links to Europe and Asia long before the Silk Road appeared.

The west gate of Khiva: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081081.jpg
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cicerone imposter
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2008 04:25 pm
We stopped at this private home of what looked like nomads in the middle of nowhere living in this mongol tent. There seemed to be about six people living here with four adults and two children. One in our group gave his Road Scholar cap to the young boy.

We crossed this bridge with both a rail track and for cars on this important river. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081059.jpg

Several of our WC stops looked like this. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081051.jpg

The wall of Khiva. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081080.jpg

An important minaret. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081091.jpg

This minaret is a standout no matter where in the world. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081095.jpg

This minaret has a history behind it. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081135.jpg

The map of the Great Silk Road. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081125.jpg

These bed-looking furniture are used by Central Asians as a sofa/bed in their yards for socializing, family gatherings, and just snoozing. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081138.jpg

These "scholars" participated in this Silk Road journey. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081210.jpg

113 pillars in this mosque. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081228.jpg

This three year old boy was the star of the show we saw at one of the madrassa of Khiva. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081264.jpg

He danced and sang for us. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081270.jpg

Outside bread-maker in Khiva. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/CentralAsiaxDMay20081193.jpg
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cicerone imposter
Reply Tue 10 Jun, 2008 06:23 pm
Going through over 2000 photographs to post on this thread makes for conditions that has me missing some "good" photographs, and posting some not-so-good ones. I'm noticing this problem as I finish one batch to the next, and decided I'll make up those I missed at the end of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

ITMT, I'll continue with Khiva tomorrow. We're in the midst of major renovation of our house, and I need to get some of the plus 200 cardboard boxes of our stuff organized, unpacked, and stored into its proper place.

Of the hundreds of paintings and pictures we had hanging on our walls before the renovation, we now only have less than six. That alone is a major undertaking, because I've decided to select about ten percent of what we have to hang on our newly finished walls, and store the rest.

The progress is slow, because our stucco is not finished, and there are other things like our new deck that must be put in. Most of my plants are cut back or dead, and we still have much interior work to be done.

Hope we're all settled in in a couple of months.

Chow until tomorrow.
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Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2008 12:35 am
Thank you, Tak, for these amazing and beautiful pictures.

I've to say that this is the most impressive travel report I've seen...
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Reply Wed 11 Jun, 2008 12:43 am
(better late than never, I suppose Crying or Very sad )

This looks great, ci, I'll read it with more care later.
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