After enjoying our quick stop in Tashkent, it was time to move along and explore more of Uzbekistan. We headed off to the ancient city of Bukhara, a famed stop on the silk road, and would be taking the brand new high speed train for the ~600km journey. This was hands down the nicest train I’ve ever had the pleasure of travelling on, and getting to take in the scenery of the countryside as we went along was truly enjoyable at over 200km/h.
Arriving in Bukhara late that evening, we took a taxi from the train station that made its way through the city and down various increasingly smaller alleyways until we arrived at our homestay. Many of the more affordable accommodations for this section of our journey were rooms in people’s homes, with some meals provided.
The next morning, as we ventured a short stroll from the homestay, we found ourselves amongst some of the most unique and interesting architecture I’ve ever encountered. To be completely honest, my mind immediately went to Star Wars; this place felt like Tatooine. It didn’t hurt that it was also almost 50°C and it felt like the sun had somehow grown about double its size. I made quick work of finding shade, and would often travel out of my way to avoid direct sunlight, if at all possible.
The mosaic work on these building was beautiful. The vibrant dark blues and turquoise was a mezmerizing contrast against the sand coloured stone, and produced a colour palette that was truly unique.
One of my favourite aspects of being here was the simple fact that tourism is still in its relative infancy. We could visit sites and not be swarmed by masses of other people, and even the vendors we came across were that much more reasonable and considerably less pushy.
We found some of the sights were even more beautiful all lit up at night. Plus, it was significantly cooler!
Bukhara proved to be probably my favourite stop on our entire trip. It was an environment and culture I’d never experienced before, and its uniqueness resonates with me still. It was exactly the kind of place I could’ve only imagined before. Now I have some lived experience to make my imagination of far off and distance science fiction worlds that much more vivid and realistic!