Buchara
(UZBEKISTAN)


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Like Khiva, Buchara is also a living museum. The most obvious landmark of Buchara is the Kalon minaret in the old city centre. It rises over several mosques and medressas (schools where the Q'uran is teached).

Playing soccer on the square

 

Watch your step - especially at night

Aiming for the goal !!

Street leading towards the Kalon minaret Inside the medressa

The local children are not impressed by the importance of these buildings: in the evening they use the deserted square to play soccer. By the way: you don't want to walk after dark on these streets: there can be enormous holes in them. And they're deep too.

Char Minar is a Indian-style medressa, a bit out of the city centre. To find it, you must enter a true maze of narrow streets. Fortunately, everybody in this neighbourhood will direct you to it, even small children.

Char Minar 

In the early days, there used to be over 200 pools in Buchara, which were connected through a extensive network of canals. The water wasn't very clean and caused many epidemics. When the Russians took over, they drained most of the pools. The Lyabi-Hauz is still there, and nowadays this is by far the best place in town have tea, eat some kebab and watch the locals.

Shoe repair

When we were in Buchara, there were some strange parties going on. One involved children all wearing their best cloths, who were carrying plants around. Strange ... where were they going ???

Lots of children are walking their plants

Local children at the Char Minar

Getting out of the maze is more difficult. The locals who see you wandering through the streets will point you right the way you came from ... back to the Char Minar.

Party time

The other party looked (just a bit) more normal. In the Jewish quarter of Buchara we encountered this group of three musicians. They were followed by a large group of overweight women, 'dancing' through the streets while carrying pillows with presents on top of it.

Russian water tower

To the left a water tower, and down the Zindan or prison. So, Leon and Mirjam can both say they did think about work.

The Zindan - Buchara jail

One word of warning: do not visit the Ark of Buchara; it will cost you a lot of sums and there isn't much to see except lots of souvenir shops. Definitely a tourist trap.

Scissors

Some things we saw when walking through Buchara: decorative scissors and construction workers having a break. The big bottle between these guys contains tea, and (although it looks that way) not some kind of paint remover.

Construction workers having a break


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