Adventures in Uzbekistan (CUz – 8)
The route: Tashkent – Chimgan – Samarkand – Nurata – Kyzyl-Kum desert - Sarmysh – Gijduvan – Bukhara – Khiva-Tashkent
Arrival in Tashken. Transfer to hotel.
Tashkent-Chimgan ( 80 km, 2 hrs) – Tashkent. Walking in the mountains. Today we will take a walk in a picturesque mountains in the Ugam-Chatkal nature Park in the Beldersay -Amirsay ski resort (altitude 1600m), located in the mountains of the South-Western Tien Shan, 80 km from Tashkent. We will admire the Black waterfall in the Aksu gorge or go up on a cable car to a viewing point with magnificent views of the Tien Shan mountains and the dominant peak of the Bolshoy Chimgan (3308m.), walk along mountain trails. In the evening, we will return to Tashkent via the Charvak high-altitude reservoir.
Sightseeing in Tashkent. Tashkent –Samarkand by speed train. Sightseeing in Tashkent: Old town, cult-architectural complex Khast–Imam (Khazret–Imam ) with grand Friday mosque, medieval Yunus-khan and Kafal-Shashi mausoleums (XVI c), Barakh – khan and Kukeldosh madrasahs (XVI-XVII c), Islamic University, library in Tillya Sheykh mosque with one of Osman caliph’s (VII c) original Korans, the oldest in the world; Istiqlol square with Abdul Kasim madrasah (XVI-XVII c) (the craftsmen works and sells their original products and souvenirs here), Alisher Navoiy monument, great amusement park, аnd the color music fountain; Amir Timur square (Tamerlan) with the park, equestrian statue of Tamerlan, surrounded by historic and administrative buildings such as the Forum palace, the Timurids museum, Uzbekistan Hotel, Tashkent chimes, Tashkent University of Low and others; Courage monument – the monument to Tashkent people suffered from the destructive earthquake in 1966; Opera and Ballet theater, built by the Japanese prisoners of war in 1945, аnd the color music fountain; Mustaqillik (Independence) square with the Independence monument, “Ezgulik” arch, the eternal flame, the fountains; “Chorsu” eastern bazaar, decorative and applied art with the richest collection of Uzbekistan craftsmen’s products. Transfer to Samarkand by speed train "Afrosiab" 18:50-21:00. Transfer to the hotel and rest.
Sightseeing in Samarknad. Sightseeing in Samarknad: Registan square – the "heart" of Samarkand - ensemble of 3 majestic madrassahs (XIV-XVI c.c.) – Sherdor, Ulugbek and Tillya Qory, Bibi-Khanum the gigantic cathedral Mosque (XV c.), Gur-Emir Mausoleum of Timur (Tamerlan), his sons and grandson Ulugbek (XV c.). Tamerlan’s grandson Ulugbek’s the well-known ruler and astronomer-scientist observatory (1420 y.) - the remains of an immense (30 m. tall) astrolabe for observing stars position, Shakhi-Zinda – “The Living King” (XI-XVIII c.c.) Necropolis of Samarkand rulers and noblemen, consisting of set of superb decorated mausoleums, exotic Siab bazaar.
Transfer to the Yurt camp "Safari" in the Kyzyl-Kum desert ( 350 km, 5 hours ). On the way, visit the sacred complex "Nur" with a spring, where a huge population of "sacred" fish lives. Walking on camels in the desert, as well as swimming and relaxing on the lake Aidarkul – a huge lake in the middle of endless sands. Dinner in the Yurt camp, after dinner – the songs of the bard (akyn) by the fire. Accommodation in yurts (2-6 people in one yurt).
Sarmysh-Gizhduvan – Bukhara. After Breakfast, transfer to Bukhara via the petroglyphs park Sarmysh and Gijduvan (~250 km/~4-5h). On the way, you will see petroglyphs in the Sarmysh gorge and visit the house-workshop of Nazrullayev artisans, who are already engaged in the production of the famous Gijduvan ceramics in the 7th generation. Upon arrival in Bukhara, hotel accommodation and rest.
Sightseeing in Bukhara (walking): “The heart of Bukhara – historic- architectural complex Lyabi-Khauz with the oldest in Central Asia pool (XIV-XVII c) surrounded by medieval buildings madrasah and khanaka of Nadira Divan-begi (XV-XVI c) with the facade, decorated with gorgeous mosaic, Kukeldash madrasah (XV c) - the largest madrasah in Bukhara. Poi–Kalyan Complex includes: 48 m minaret Kalyan (XII c) – the symbol of Bukhara; large Friday mosque Kalyan (XV c) with galleries topped with 288 domes of 1 hectare area; the only one active madrasah in Bukhara Miri-Arab (XVI c). The Samanids mausoleum (IX-X cc), Ark citadel (IV-XX cc) - the oldest residence of the Emirs, Chor-Minor – the original building of four minarets (XIX c). Sitorai-Mohi-Hosa Palace (XIX-XX cc) - country summer palace of Bukhara Emirs.
Bukhara – Khiva (480 km, 7-8 hr.) Drive through Kyzyl-Kum desert to Khiva (~480km; 7-8h.). En route a short stop for walking along Kyzyl-Kum desert and on a picturesque bank of Amudarya river.
The ancient fortresses of Khorezm. Country excursion along the ancient fortresses of Khorezm (I – II cc): Ayaz-Kala, Toprak-Kala.
Sightseeing in Khiva. Flight to Tashkent. After breakfast start sightseeing in Khiva: Ichan Kala – the museum under one sky, protected by the UNESСO as one of the world heritage masterpiece. Kalta-Minor Minaret (1855) – incomplete minaret of 26m height and base diameter of 16m height. It was planned as a highest minaret in Central Asia. Kunya-Ark (XVII-XIX cc) – the first palace of Khiva’s khans, Pahlovan Mahmud mausoleum (XIV-XIX c), Islam Khodja madrassah and minaret (1908 y.). Juma-mosque (1789) - the original Friday mosque with flat roof, propped up by 218 wooden carved columns (X-XIX c) with magnificent acoustics. In the evening flight to Tashkent. On arrival transfer to hotel and rest.
Departure. Flight home.