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25th April Bukhara

May 8, 2013

25th April Buchara
The Lonely Planet says that Bukhara is not the place to go to for gourmet food. Last night we ate at an Italian restaurant that served up a passable steak. Tonight we tried one of the local places situated on the edge of the Luabi-Hauz pool. The pool is one of the major atttractions of the city. Joan had Goldfish, this in a double land locked country, while I had Lula kebabs. The kebabs were like sausages without the skin and the gold fish, well, not sure what that was or tasted like. There were chips with the kebabs but no vegetables. The fish had no vegies. At least the local wine was very dry and quite drinkable. I had a hot dog the other day in a roll, it’s going to be a long time before I have another.
It is the height of the tourist season here in Buchara. Many French and Germans with the smattering of Spanish and north Americans. The ancient monuments haven’t been restored to the degree they have in Samarkand and quite a few of the buldings are in bad disrepair giving a certain aging to the city. We walked to the Turki Jandi Mausoleum in the Jewish quarter this afternoon through puddle-filled streets. No tourists, the locals helped us out with directions, when we got there the old mullah arrived on his push bike as we were leaving. For 5 minutes we listened to him talking to us in Russiann, I think, hoping we were nodding and shaking our heads at the appropriate time. We shook hands, placd our hand over our hearts, and walked on.
The Ark is one of the main attractions of the city. In the 1830s the mad Emir, Nasrullah ruled the land with a maniacal fervour from this citadel. Paranoid about his safety he would have two lots of food tasters try his food and wait for an houur at least before he would eat it. Just to see if the tasters died. His despotic rule was brought to the attention of Britain with the incarceration of two British army officers, Stoddartt and Connolley, in the late 1830s. For three years he played a cat and mouse game with them, releasing them into house arrest when the British sway seem to gain momentum in the area, then throw them in the bug pit when things went against the home country. When the British were thrown out of Afghanistan their influence in the area dissolved. They were then taken out to an area in front of the Ark, made to dig their own graves, and beheaded. The area where the priisoners were kept was below the stables andwhen the horses were washed down the dirty water and effluent would pour over them.
Have arranged for the next part of our trip up to Khiva, some 450kms north. Hoped there would be a train running on the day we wanted but not the case. Are hiring a car, $85 to take us there. I believe the road is a shocker for much of the way

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