It's My Party

Urgut Travel Blog

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Urgut market

Urgut has a large Sunday market and is only about 30km from Samarkand.  We wait for a bus at what we think is a good spot by the Registan and the first minivan I flag down fortunately happens to be going to Urgut.  I get the front seat - more comfortable but also, given the driving, more dangerous - Julie is crammed in the back. 

Urgut is at the foot of the Zerafshan mountains that can be seen south of Samarkand.  The bazaar is certainly large, a huge maze of stalls selling just about everything for everyday Uz living.  It is busy with locals but for tourists the interest is mainly in people watching as there is little we would want to buy here.  Probably the most interesting area is the massive fabric section where the women buy cloth to make up into clothes.

Timur's mausoleum outside

Tired after browsing we head up the highstreet looking for somewhere to have lunch.  We spot what looks like a large open air resturant and go to investigate.  The men sitting at the entrance beckon for us to come inside and sit down at a table.  Tea soon arrives and I try to figure out what this place is - there are signs that people have been eating here but it isn't a restuarant and interestingly there are no women here (apart from Julie) at all.  One of our hosts phones his son who speaks English and who soon joins us at the table.  He explains that this is a wedding party.  It is traditional for the family to lay on food at a special party venue for the local men.  Women have a similar function held but this is held at the family house.

Timur's mausoleum inside
  The tradition is that everyone is welcome (so we are not gatecrashing!). Plov and bread arrives so we all sit down to eat. 

In the end we stay for about an hour talking to the father and son and enjoying the hospitality.  The father has many questions about our travel and about the countries we have been to.  The son works in computers translating programs into local language and is keen to work overseas. 

We feel we should not overstay our welcome so when they invitate us to visit their house we decline, but we have enjoyed this and know we will go back to Samarkand today a little more experienced in the Uzbekistan way of life than when we came.

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Urgut market
Urgut market
Timurs mausoleum outside
Timur's mausoleum outside
Timurs mausoleum inside
Timur's mausoleum inside
Urgut
photo by: Riz7