Historic Treasures of Uzbekistan: Journey of Discovery along the Silk Road - kindle ebook by Peter Clarke

Why Uzbekistan? Where is it?

Two very good questions asked by my friends and family when I announced that I was embarking on a trip to Uzbekistan. They were questions that I had asked myself when researching the trip, so I proceeded to answer them as follows:
“Uzbekistan is in the middle of nowhere.” 

I took out my battered and well-travelled old atlas to show them. I had folded down the page to make it easier to find. All the ‘Stans are located in the middle of the Asian continent, wedged in between Russia, China and India. Uzbekistan is literally in the middle of all the other ‘Stans, bordered by Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgistan.

Not a beach in sight, in fact, in Uzbekistan, you can’t get much further away from the sea. There is plenty of sand, though. Much of Uzbekistan is made up of desert, two deserts, in fact – the Karakum and the Kyzylkum – pretty desolate and forbidding places.
All of which led to their next question….

Why Uzbekistan?

Earlier that year I had embarked on another voyage of discovery to China, and in Xi’an in particular, I became fascinated by the history of the Silk Road and the countries of Central Asia through which it coursed on its way to the Mediterranean Sea and beyond to Italy. The centre of the Silk Road trade was a place called Samarkand which is in Uzbekistan.

A wealth of original and restored architecture reveals a rich history dating back beyond Genghis Khan who comes, conquers and destroys most of it in the 13th century.

Local hero Temur (Tamerlane) rebuilds it and makes Samarkand the capital of his great 14th century Empire. Stunningly decorated minarets, mosques, madrassahs and mausoleums have given Uzbekistan a rich architectural heritage and the author takes you on a journey to the major sites in Tashkent, Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, many of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

So, I went and this is the story of my journey……