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Started by Shadrack22 on Oct 24, 2018 7:46:50 PM
Have you ever been to Uzbekistan?

What was it like?

Talk about it here.

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TheVoiceOfReason - 25 Oct 2018 16:42:46 (#1 of 39)

Yes I have. Tashkent is interesting. Not much old as it was flattened in an earthquake in 1968. But some great 60s/Soviet “monumental” architecture. Great food if you like hearty meat dishes. There are guards at every metro station who will search you but are generally fairly friendly and often want to practise English.

Samarkand is impressive but the old part of the city is quite small and the modern city isn’t that great. Bukhara is the real gem and highly recommended.

You have to get a visa which is a pain but a relatively easy process. I flew Turkish Airlines via Istanbul which I’d recommend. Tashkent Airport is horrific; make sure you look for the foreigners’ queue at immigration. The railway network is comfortable and safe. Get tickets through an agency. Enjoy!

Shadrack22 - 25 Oct 2018 17:18:57 (#2 of 39)

Armenia, Azerbaijan and now Uzbekistan. You are my go to man for former Soviet republics, Patters.

AshburtonAbove - 25 Oct 2018 17:19:36 (#3 of 39)

A rather easy 10 points

Shadrack22 - 25 Oct 2018 17:20:32 (#4 of 39)

Photos of the Tashkent underground:

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/gallery/2018/au
g/24/uzbekistan-secret-underground-tashkent-metro-in-pictures

Rendered - 25 Oct 2018 17:35:12 (#5 of 39)

I like to picture Shadders wandering around these unappealing Eastern bloc countries in the manner of Denholm Elliott in the Indiana Jones films.

HouseOfLametta - 25 Oct 2018 17:38:50 (#6 of 39)

“Didn’t he once get lost in his own museum?”

Shadrack22 - 25 Oct 2018 17:49:20 (#7 of 39)

I like to picture Shadders wandering around these unappealing Eastern bloc countries in the manner of Denholm Elliott in the Indiana Jones films.

Meanwhile Patters, looking like Richard Wattis in an Astrakhan hat, sips lemon tea and gazes at a mountain range from a tree-lined square in Bishkek.

TheVoiceOfReason - 25 Oct 2018 18:20:45 (#8 of 39)

I’ve been to every ex-Soviet republic except Tajikistan, little Shadders.

Shadrack22 - 25 Oct 2018 18:26:01 (#9 of 39)

Very impressive. Armenia next May for me.

coshipi - 25 Oct 2018 18:47:13 (#10 of 39)

Well, I've landed in Tashkent, spent a while in a plane on the runway there, and taken off again three times, if that counts.

But Armenia - we spent two weeks there, visiting our daughter and son-in-law who were there for a year, and touring around in a hired Ziguli. Had a fabulous time.

http://clive.semmens.org.uk/Photos.php?Armenia%2FT
humbs

TRaney - 25 Oct 2018 19:24:40 (#11 of 39)

I’ve been to Tashkent. We flew in from Pakistan and had three days to get the train out. We were met by a contact of our Pakistani ticket agent who took us to the one hotel we were allowed to stay in. We had to get a stamp in our passport each day to show we’d complied. The first time the clerk asked how many stamps we wanted we said three and decamped with some urchin who had offered us a flat at a fraction of the price.

Getting a train ticket involved getting up at 5 and milling around hopefully at the train station. They told us there were no free seats for days. We tried various airlines but they were all full. We knocked on the door of the newly arrived British ambassador a few floors up in the hotel. He was surrounded by comms equipment and a box of M&S All Bran. He looked desperate, and told us he was preparing for a a visit by Princess Anne and could do nothing for us.

On the third day train tickets miraculously materialized and we were out, in the company of a transcendental meditationist woman from Moscow who’d been to Saudi to buy a tape deck.

I think I also had a confrontation with a taxi driver who pulled a knife, and shared pizza with the bearlike Russian ambassador as we wangled a Russian visa.

That’s my Tashkent story.

FredDee - 25 Oct 2018 19:28:50 (#12 of 39)

how is Uzbekistan in terms of alcohol ?

Rendered - 25 Oct 2018 19:30:08 (#13 of 39)

36.

coshipi - 25 Oct 2018 19:38:39 (#14 of 39)

We had to get a stamp in our passport each day to show we’d complied. The first time the clerk asked how many stamps we wanted we said three and decamped with some urchin who had offered us a flat at a fraction of the price.

I did almost exactly that in Poland in 1978! Except I knew the "urchin" already, since she was a friend in England who was spending a year studying at the Catholic University in Lublin. Her parents were Polish, but she was born in England.

Jacob_Richter - 25 Oct 2018 19:50:24 (#15 of 39)

When my Polish father in law was 13 years old, he was ethnically cleansed by the USSR from Eastern Poland in 1940 and shipped towards Siberia for slave labour, he contracted dysentery in the cattle wagon. It was decided that he was going to die and so he was abandoned on the streets of Tashkent. He was taken in by a Russian man who nursed him and he recovered and was later reunited with his family in a labour camp.

HouseOfLametta - 25 Oct 2018 19:55:35 (#16 of 39)

Aww

Shadrack22 - 25 Oct 2018 20:01:47 (#17 of 39)

Angela Carter:

Every city has its own internal logic. Imagine a city drawn in straightforward, geometric shapes with crayons from a child's colouring box, in ochre, in white, in pale terracotta. Low, blonde terraces of houses seem to rise out of the whitish, pinkish earth as if born from it, not built out of it. There is a faint, gritty dust over everything, like the dust those pastel crayons leave on your fingers.

Against these bleached pallors, the iridescent crusts of ceramic tiles that cover the ancient mausoleums ensorcellate the eye. The throbbing blue of Islam transforms itself to green while you look at it. Beneath a bulbous dome alternately lapis lazuli and veridian, the bones of Tamburlaine, the scourge of Asia, lie in a jade tomb. We are visiting an authentically fabulous city. We are in Samarkand.

coshipi - 25 Oct 2018 20:03:17 (#18 of 39)

Poland to Siberia via Tashkent? That's an interesting route! Any idea why, Jacob?

Jacob_Richter - 25 Oct 2018 20:07:47 (#19 of 39)

I don't think there was a plan (ironically) - they ended up at a lumber camp on the River Lena.

invicta - 25 Oct 2018 20:47:00 (#20 of 39)

I’ve been to every ex-Soviet republic except Tajikistan, little Shadders.

Any reason why you've not completed the list, TVoR? The mountains look magnificent.....

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