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."