Uzbekistan. One of those countries that people only remember it as an ex- Soviet-Block country. But Uzbekistan is actually one of the most important producers and trading outposts of silk, worldwide. Also, what few remember and know is that Uzbekistan was the most important cultural, religious and scientific hub of Central Asia in the Middle Ages. This can be seen all around the country, but more in the ancient cities, like the ex-capital Samarkand, Bukhara or Khiva (written Xiva and pronounced “Hiva”).
The Uzbek culture is a unique mix of different traditions and customs from various ancient nations, like Chinese, Russian, Arabic, nomad Turkic and Iranian tribes. The colours, sounds and flavours are all mixed together in such a way, that beauty seems to ooze out of everywhere, especially in the old, heritage places. As Uzbekistan is known for the Silk Road, the three most important cities on the route are: Tashkent, Samarkand an Bukhara. Tashkent is the modern capital of Uzbekistan, whilst Samarkand and Bukhara are the biggest trade nodes on the route.
Silk comes in different, shapes, colours and types, the most beautiful being Atlas silk, or King’s silk. Nothing here comes cheap, but the Uzbek people are traders, so don’t settle for the first price you hear.
Since this is just the beginning of our journey, I will not hold you anymore. Lets indulge on the images of both traditional and modern places.