1001 Arabian nights

Samarqand Travel Blog

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Registan square

"We travel not for trafficking alone,

By hotter winds our fiery hearts are fanned.

For lust of knowing what should not be known

We take the golden Road to Samarkand.

Boy playing in fountain on the Registan square
" - James Elroy Fletcher

 

This is truly the highlight of the "Golden" or "Royal" Silk Road (Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand). Finaly I could set my feet on the famous Registan Square in Samarkand. However when I saw it for the first time for real I reckon I was a little bit disappointed but as time progressed and I passed by it more and more I became more and more enchanted by it's beauty and serenity. I bribed a guard to climb the minaret of the Ulughbek medressa for 2000 Som, the official entrance fee without camera is 3400 Som and you're not allowed to climb the minaret so I got myself quite a good deal.

 

As I entered the Ulughbek medressa with the fguard I noticed that this area was still under construction/ renovation.

On the road to Samarqand we stopped for a couple of watermules.
The guard pointed to a pile of rocks that I should climb to get to the stairs of the minaret and gave me sound advice; "Be carefull, don't fall OK" as I were planning to fall 20 feet. After some climing I got to the narrow stairs that lead me to the top of the minaret. Somehow this wasn't really what I expected, in the roof they had made a hole through which I could poke my head out of with my feet still standing on the steepy and narrow stairs. Though I tried to enjoy the wonderfull view I couldn't stop thinking about how unstable I was standing. After some balacing I decided to return to safer ground but not before I entered the second floor of the medrassa. There were several doors on the second floor which I opened and to my surprise the little rooms seemed to be used for living as there were some beds and food garbage.

 

I thought the registan square would be the highlight of Samarkand; I couldn't be wrong more. The Shar-i-Zindah was to be my highlight of Samarkand, it is a narrow street littered with magnificent mausolea on both sides. The decorations of the masolea are so fine, so colorfull that I cannot describe the beauty of it.

Girl with water mule
Again the Uzbeks charge you some fee but we managed to bypass this to enter the graveyard that lies next to the Shar-i-Zindah. You might think that we got that one on the cheap but you're mistaken as we wanted to enter the graveyard some old Uzbek woman yelled at us to pay a ticket, we asked if it was for the Shar-i-Zandah. She nodded in acknowledgement and we paid some 3400 Som for entrance and camera. You can imagine our surprise when we got a guided tour in a very modern mosque that was just 6 years old. When we asked her again if this mosque was the Shar-i-Zindah she suddenly remembered that the Shar-i-Zindah was up the street.

 

After the amazing stroll through the Shar-i-Zindah we went to the Ulughbek Mausoleum, this was also a very nice masoleum, you get a bit mausoleum tireness after a while. So we took our photo's and went for the bazaar and look for the Korean corner as there is a large Korean minority group. We passed by the Bibi-Yek Mosque and decided not to go in there as it wasn't that magnificent as the ones near the Registan square or the ones we've seen in Khiva and Bukhara.

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Registan square
Registan square
Boy playing in fountain on the Reg…
Boy playing in fountain on the Re…
On the road to Samarqand we stoppe…
On the road to Samarqand we stopp…
Girl with water mule
Girl with water mule
Girl with water mule
Girl with water mule
Boy filling the cans with water
Boy filling the cans with water
Group photo
Group photo
These kids were throwing pine appl…
These kids were throwing pine app…
The apple kids
The apple kids
The minaret I climbed of the Ulugh…
The minaret I climbed of the Ulug…
Samarqand
photo by: BeachBum429