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24th April. Samarkand

April 29, 2013

Still having problems getting the posts onto the blog. I think the connections are slow and variable.

Jahongir B&B is a renovated Jewish merchant’s house. The owner, Odil and his brother spent 7 years in the US before coming back to Samarkand, buying then renovating the place into a 12 room B&B. There are two courtyards, the outer one where the merchant’s customers would enter, and the inner one where the wives and family lived. As mentioned earlier, it is in the old area and a short walk to the major sites. Bed & Breakasts like this one are appearing in many of the tourist areas and are a pleasant change to the larger group tour hotels. Quite a cosmpoliitan group here with NZers, an Australiian, Swiss, French, Texan, and a family I’m not suure where they are from
Actually the accommodation we have had on the trip so far has been very good. All have been central apart from the one in Urumqi which lessens the need of taxis and public transport. Although we have used puublic transport especially in Tashkent where they have a very good metro. Had difficulty checking which line to take at times but the locals are only too pleased to help out. Sometimes it pays to act dumb. One thing we find hard to get used to is the way younger commuters get up immediatelly to give us a seat. Doesn’t happen in AU and few countries that I can think of..
We were going to visit Gur Emir’s Mausoleum this morning before catching the Bukhara train but the rain has set in, the temperature has dropped, will wait for the taxi to the station in the warmth of the room.
Been thinking of starting up tours to these countries. Something like ‘Laid Back Tours’ where you spend a day longer in each place, have a short guided whiparound to show people where the sights are, then leave it to them, armed with a good guide book and map, to spend the rest of the time looking around on their own. More chance to have personal exchanges with the locals which, we feel, is the best part of travelling. On Sunday where the townsfolk have a day off, we would have had our photos taken with at least 20 different groups of young people. Joan more than the two of us. No guide waffling with facts that you forget 10 minutes later. It’s all in the guide books, read up about it then stand and marvel for as long as you like. No rushing on to the next sight. A list of eating places where you can chose from if you can’t find anything on your own. It would be a bit like we do now.

  1. Paul Tipper permalink

    Sounds like our kind of travel Gary. When are you starting the tours?
    Its a full moon and cool but lovely evening here after a gorgeous sunny, warm Autumn day.
    hope you are travelling well.
    love M

    • Hi Paul & Margot, Pleased you could comment on the blog, still having problems with the slow uploads here. I posted the 24th post 4 days ago and appears to have just gone on. Great country to visit; sights amazing, people friendly, food? Next question. Their national dish says it all, Plov! But getting a taste for vodka to put us in good stead for the 3 day Moscow train trip. Regards Gary & Joan

      Sent from my ASUS Pad

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