Another Day, Another Ancient City
Penjikent Travel Blog› entry 29 of 83 › view all entries
According to Ancient Panjekent, a photocopied booklet I had purchased at the Rudaki Museum, excavations began in 1946 and have since revealed layers of civilizations at the site dating back as far as the 5th century and lasting until it was vanquished by Arab invaders in the 8th century, and much of it remaining partially intact. Located on a cliff overlooking modern day Penjikent, the
I was successful in taking the marshrutka and then walking to the site, which was surely grand compared to the other ruins I’d seen thus far.
After spending about an hour losing myself in the maze of walls and paths around the shahristan (old city), I saw a road leading to the new part of town and followed it all the way to the bazaar. Today the market was definitely open and jam-packed with people. I changed some money, successfully avoiding getting ripped off and purchased a small tube of toothpaste for about 50 cents before heading off to check emails.
Rinat called to tell me he was on his way into town and wondered if I had time to meet up, so we met and we sat in the park for awhile talking about teenage life in Penjikent before it was time for him to head off to class again at the Millennium school where he takes English classes.
Walking back to the guesthouse in the dark after more Internet catching up, I took a digger into the sidewalk despite the use of a flashlight. I may have been distracted by the blaring screen and fountains illuminated in red, green and yellow in front of the main government building.
When I got back to the guesthouse, one brother had been replaced by another of Niyozkul’s, and after dinner, he insisted on escorting me to the Solpybeer bar that I’d been excited about trying since I arrived. Unfortunately, though, they were out of beer, so we returned empty-stomached but Niyozkul had pity and split a Chinese beer with me called Wusu, which turned out to be fine even though it tasted like a light sparkling cider. And with that I went to sleep, my space heater on and blankets up to my chin.