Monday, July 7, 2014

Pleasant enough drive to Bukhara, except the cop who leapt out of the bushes to pull us over. Apparently we were speeding, although we had no idea that we were. The chat was friendly enough, and we were soon on our way with a warning. This is the first time Stephen has ever been pulled over for speeding. As we got nearer to Bukhara the desert became more and more pronounced and the mercury headed north to a high of 39°C.

We soon found ‘The Amulet Hotel’ our B&B, and another amazing place it was. We were warmly welcomed with tea, coffee and Eastern sweets all served in the terrace overlooking the inner courtyard. The outside temperature was still rising so we stayed put just relaxing until the heat diminished.

Amulet B&B in an old Madrassah.

Around 6pm we went for a long walk to checkout the significant sights. Bukhara contains a vast collection of historic buildings spread across the city. Just about the whole Old City is UNESCO World Heritage. Absolutely wonderful to wander around taking it all in. Dinner was at a restaurant at the edge of the Lyabi.

Mir-i-Arab Medressa.
Walls of ‘The Ark’ an old royal town-within-a-town.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

After enjoying a wonderful breakfast we ventured out in the relative cool of the mid-morning to go and explore more of Bukhara Old Town. First stop was ‘The Ark’: a royal town-within-a town with a very impressive wall around it. At the time of our visit about 80% of the place was still in ruins, waiting to be renovated or at least partially restored. Across the road from the entrance to The Ark stands the Bolo-Hauz Mosque, with an intricately decorated wooden ceiling at its front entrance.

Bolo-Hauz Mosque. Emir’s official place of worship built in 1718.

On we walked to visit the impressive Kalon Mosque, which we almost had entirely to ourselves, adding a surreal quality to our visit. We continued our walk with visits to some of the Medressa’s (Madrassahs) before the heat drove us back to the relative cool of our hotel’s courtyard where we enjoyed tea and coffee, and some more of the lovely Eastern sweets, before relaxing in our air-conditioned room.

Kalon Mosque.
Dome of Mir-i-Arab Medressa from Kalon Mosque.
Kalon Minaret, Dome of Mir-i-Arab Medressa and behind domed roofs of another Medressa.