Bukhara Travel Blog

 › entry 27 of 30 › view all entries

So far the countries we have been to have been far from strict Muslims, and much more westernized than what I had expected.  I haven’t worn long pants or shirts to cover my body up, in fact some of the girls here get round in less than what we do back home.  I expected the culture to be a lot more strict.  They love their alcohol though.  They are forever drinking beer and vodka, pronounced “wodka”, at all hours of the day and night until they are wasted.

The Uzbek girls do tend to wear a not so flattering dress that covers the ladies from head to toe and one size fits all kind of thing, yet very colourful.  


We got dropped off at the bus station.

  I must qualify this by saying that a bus station is anywhere that two or more buses happen by chance or prior arrangement to stop for longer than an hour.  As soon as we got out of the taxi we were hit by the tirade of bus hawkers attempting to fight off other hawkers and get us to go on their bus, while trying to screw us for money, and likewise we tried to screw them for a price close to what a local would pay.  Fair I think.  We pushed them off and they got the message pretty quick.  But turns out everybody and everything that looks like it is going on a bus, is fought over viciously, including the locals and pieces of cardboard - yes that prized commodity cardboard.  Perhaps they have a lucrative recycling program in place? Not.

We hung out with the locals and after an hour the bus could not fit anyone or anything else on it so we were off.  The air ventilation was courtesy of the bus door being open during the entire journey.   Temperatures in Uzbek range from 30 to late 40’s this time of year. 

We arrived in Bukhara and stayed in a B & B run by a former Russian Olympian.

  He was terrific. For breakfast he would go down to the local market and collect fresh apricots and bread and some other little delightful fruity thing - yes I'm not big on the names attributed to fruits.  Mubinjon spoke no English but he got the point across.  He had a courtyard surrounded by a number of rooms made out of mud brick, with beds on the floor.  He was only 70 meters from the heart of the old town where tourists need to be, and for $5 US.  Other people we met were paying over $50 bucks a night and they had the same problems with the water as we did.  We just had no cable TV or a/c. 

The focal point was Labi Haus , a plaza built around a pool where everybody congregates under shady mulberry trees, lying on the provided beds, seats or just wherever really. (See below)  Old guys play chess and gossip about the good old days,  street sellers, your usual crazies and the people who just have to learn English from you,  and of course the people who are tour guides and can't believe that you can possibly see everything or understand the historical stuff without hiring their expertise.

In all of the towns we went to we visited medressas, mosques, minarets, covered bazaars, caravanserai, tombs, and other associated holy places. In Bukhara they had built a massive Ark of which it is said parts date back over two millenniums and has been occupied in some part from the 5th century until the 1920's.  Although thanks to the instability of the region, a number of organizations/people - Genghis Khan, Bolsheviks, red army etc - have destroyed and rebuilt, destroyed and rebuilt, destroyed and rebuilt many of the old historical places over the centuries


Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: Vlindeke