Photos from Tashkent to Song-Kul Lake
time to bore you all with more photos! Thanks for the feedback to the previous
ones (to the two people who replied :) ).
This time it's into Central Asia - from Uzbekistan heading east into
Kyrghyzstan 2002. Set 01 - Glimpse of Turkey
A brief glimpse of Istanbul from above after changing planes in Istanbul for
Kyrghyzstan 2002. Set 2a - Tashkent Solo
One hundred 500-Sum bills makes about $40. Certainly makes you feel rich! Then
it's an ongoing battle with jetlag whilst exploring the Mirabad bazaar (under
the bizarre blue roof), the back streets of Tashkent (along with Barf
bus-stops), the fine art in the museum (this was the 4th largest city in the
USSR after all) and 'The Café'.
Kyrghyzstan 2002. Set 2b - Tashkent Park Life
After the fountains, the next shot is of the outside of the Amir Timir Museum.
The INSIDE, however, is breathtaking! Amir Timir was the great conqueror after
Genghis Khan and carved out an empire for himself from Turkey to northern
India, leaving universities and Turkmen in his wake. Never heard of him?
Neither had I until this trip... I guess that's a euro-centric education for
you! He's the guy on the horse. Finally in this set there are some shots of
locals playing chess and Nargile (Uzbek backgammon) in the park.
Kyrghyzstan 2002. Set 3 - Fountain Swimming
I met up with the group this day, that's Leslie with a 'Sum' of money. Geddit?
Also, check out the Oliy Majlis parliament building (gold with blue
half-dome), Alisher Navoi memorial (the Uzbek Shakespeare - read the quote in
the photo), escaping the heat by fountain swimming (it was about 40C+) and the
statues of the model Soviet war family (a smithy who adopted 15 war orphans).
Kyrghyzstan 2002. Set 4 - Fergana Valley
We drove up through a mountain pass in minibuses, while our truck had to go
via Tajikistan (you learn to love Uzbek bureaucracy after a while, honest!).
Some shots of my fellow campers, then we stopped off at the Khan's palace and
a Pottery workshop on the way to Fergana itself.
Kyrghyzstan 2002. Set 5 - Fergana
Fergana's famous for its silk, so here are photos of men spinning silk,
spitting on silk, painting on silk, boiling silk and women weaving silk. After
that it was a short stop at the ruins of KUBA (quite ironic when you consider
where I had just come from). Back to Fergana to explore the bazaar and get
chatting to the locals (including the ones trying to kill themselves in the
Kyrghyzstan 2002. Set 6 - Osh, Kyrghyzstan
Across the border into Kyrghyzstan and the gigantic Osh Bazaar to meet more
incredible, warm and friendly locals, quick to flash a gold-toothed smile at
the drop of a hat. So I bought a Kyrghyz hat, we climbed Solomon's Throne and
found our first Lenin. The first verse of The Kyrghyz Song was penned from the
hotel balcony in one of these photos. It'll be famous one day!
Kyrghyzstan 2002. Set 7 - To Toktugul Reservoir
Hmm. Not much to look at here if you weren't on the trip. Giant ants and
Kyrghyz mountain scenery (no matter how remote, there's always an electric
Kyrghyzstan 2002. Set 8 - To Song-Kul Lake and Away
Again, not much here for the casual viewer. Some scenery, a passing donkey and
a memento of the campsite by the river where I was violently ill all night.
Getting the runs when you're camping and it's freezing and it's raining and
you're not sure where you left your loo roll ain't no fun!