What I remember is exploring the four silk road cities - each one a bit different from the other. The markets were a delight of fascinating items and shop keepers were friendly and not overwhelmingly pushy like we grew used to in later countries.
|Uzbek money. This was about CAD 100. In the tourist markets,|
merchants were pleased to accept USD because there was a booming
black market and nobody changed at the official rate.
|Our hotel in Kiva had these gorgeous textiles on the walls.|
Locally made and by hand.
|This lady made my sun dress on her machine in the back of the shop.|
Cotton from the Fergana Valley but fabric woven and printed in Kiva.
|Dining al fresco on traditional food.|
|Poet, philosopher, mathematician. The cities of the|
silk road were highly advanced when Europe was still in the
dark ages. Hard to believe when you see how primitive
conditions are along the way.
|Antique jewelery from the 10th century. It would be |
right at home today.
|Camel for the tourists. He had been puffed and buffed and thought|
quite highly of himself.
|Alicia trying to decide if she could fit this hand crafted|
bed into Calypso.
|Final stages in carpet making - trimming the fibres and giving it a good brush.|
|The shop manager with my quilt square to be. |
These were samples for full sized carpets
And embroidered with naturally dyed silk fibers
We had just negotiated that I would purchase some of
their waste silk threads.
|Inside one of the mosques that has been left essentially unrestored|
so you can see what it was like. Each of the posts was
slightly different and some were carved. The bottom
bit is to help protect the building from earthquakes.
|Another bit of what Kiva looked like before|
|Singer sewing machine|
|Water is in short supply in Uzbekistan. This is the Amu Darya|
which starts in Afghanistan and heads toward Turkmenistan.
It used to end at the Aral Sea (which has disappeared due
to intensive irrigation)
|Look carefully in the desert and you will find wee plants|
|Cool idea throughout Asia. No left turn lanes on the highways.|
Instead, there were places where you could do u turns
and go back to turn without crossing traffic.
|Bukhara. The sultan showed his wealth and power by|
building a lake in the middle of the desert. We sat over
dinner and watched wedding parties have photos taken
here. Brides in western white fluffy dresses. Grooms in formal
|The artisan who created my embroidery scissors and|
also knives for Cal, Kyle and Kier. Using the
skills of long ago to create swords.
|Fortress important in the Great Game.|
|Mausoleum and some of its interior decorations. It was|
saved from destruction by Ghengis Khan because the local people buried
the building and made it to look like a hill.
|I bought an ikat scarf for Kati from this merchant.|
It was hard to just buy one thing.
|We were old hands at the "please, photo". Turns out this group were all locals|
so we were the entertainment.
|Workers cleaning the paths with straw brooms. They were|
"immigrants" from Tajikistan just to the south. They might
have lived here for generations, but were still not considered
|Trying on an 18th century burka. First the|
mesh net to cover the face. Woven horse hair
felt like the screens we put on our windows
|From the front|
|And the back|
|Odyssey group (most of us)|
|Tamerlane is referred to with great respect here.|
|There is a serious problem finding diesel fuel in Uzbekistan.|
Lots of natural gas and most cars run on that. We had
a serious problem between Samarkand and Tashkent, but Bec
made a few calls and we did a bit of a detour
|Our hotel in Tashkent. This fellow from the hotel was|
enchanted by the truck and the idea that we had come so far.
Yes, we exchanged photos.
|Taxi convoy to Fergana.|
|Our taxis were the pride of their owners. This one had hand|
crocheted seat covers to keep them clean.
|Creating silk using traditional methods. I was fascinated.|
Everyone else humoured me.
|Creating ikat fabric step one. Winding the warp threads for|
140 meters of fabric.
|Then it is dyed to create the pattern|
|Weaving. This lady had 7 pedals that she was dancing on to|
create the pattern
|Yes, this is what you think it is. One of our loo stops.|