Day 20

20. May 2000, Rest Day in Samarkand

No car worries for our rest day in Samarkand. We reserved the entire day to run errands and to do sight seeing here in this wonderful city. Samarkand was founded in the 5th century B.C. and changing hands every few centuries till Djengiz Khan completely destroyed the city in 1220. Samarkand rose again to world power when Timur made it the capital of his vast empire. Most buildings are from that time and Samarkand was the intellectual and economic center for all of central asia. We were wandering through those amazing buildings being greeted:"Hello, what is your name?" or "Welcome to Samarkand" by hundreds of school children everywhere. It was cocuk bayram (children's day festival) and festivities were prepared all around the city. People are very friendly here, even random policemen that we walked by in the street smiled at us and said "Welcome to Samarkand."

Left the Mausoleum of Imam Gazzoli, a Medressa (Koran school) and Timor's Mausoleum straight ahead

A local food bazar where we bought some 5 loafs of bread and a quarter kilo of dried apricots for $3

A long day of walking from the dozens of sites in Samarkand. Here you see the famous Registan square which borders to three similar buildings. To the left not visible in this picture is a huge stage for the cocuk bayram festivity.

The inside of Samarkand's historic buildings mirror the rich outside decoration.


Sami in front of the Mausoleum of Amir Timur.

Inside one of the medresses. The little arches give access to little cabins that were used for studying the koran.

The immense mausoleum of Amir Timur who made Samarkand his capital and center of trade and knowledge for central asia.