Uzbekistan Itinerary

27TH OCTOBER 2020

London to Tashkent

Overnight flight 7h.

28TH OCTOBER 2020

Tashkent

Arrive in Tashkent at 05:50 and proceed to the Hyatt Hotel for check in and breakfast. Time to rest!

Start your experience of Uzbekistan with the distinctly modern city of Tashkent with its wide boulevards and massive architecture with the Uzbekistan hero Amir Timor having replaced Lenin at its heart. We will drive to what is left of Old Tashkent, the rest of the city having been destroyed by the 1966 earthquake, and experience the social behaviour that reflects Uzbekistan.

From there we will go to visit the Khast Imam, the religious centre with the vast new Hazroti Iman Friday Mosque, the Barak Khan Madrassah and the Mausoleum of Abu Bakr Kaftal Shoshi. However, the most important sight is the Moyie Mubarak Library Museum which contains what is considered the world’s oldest and first written Quran. Written by Usman the third Kalif in the 7th Century it was brought to Tashkent by Amir Timor and here it remains.

After culture comes food and we will be visiting the Plov Centre. Mass production of this staple goes on in all its forms and you will get to have it for lunch with salad bread and tea Uzbek style (Veggie options available) Our final stop is the amazing Russian mansion that is now the Museum of Applied Arts. The decorative crafts here are just as amazing as the architectural splendour of the house itself.

Back to the hotel for a rest and then welcome meeting and a short Session 1 for delegates. Dinner in the hotel.

29TH OCTOBER 2020

Tashkent to Khiva

An early start to catch the 07:25 flight ( the only one) to Urgench airport which serves Khiva. We arrive at 09:00 and drive to the city to start our tour of the old city.

Surrounded by massive Adobe walls this is the only old city to remain intact and as we wander the streets you will really feel the atmosphere of its history as a Silk Road and slave trading centre. The Kalta Minor Minaret is one of the many iconic sights all visibly spread out below for those who brave the steep massive steps that ascend the 47m Juma minaret. The Juma mosque’s wooden pillars are reminiscent of the Mosquita in Cordoba. Perhaps the highlight is Pahlavon Mahmud Mausoleum’s stunning tile work in a spiritual setting.

Lunch in the Khorezum Art Restaurant Check in at the hotel and Session 2.

View the blissful sunset from the watchtower of the Kuhna Ark before dinner at Café Zerafshan. And so to bed...

30TH OCTOBER 2020

Khiva–Bukhara

After breakfast we will catch the 08:57 train from Khiva to Bukhara arriving there at 14:50. There is a buffet car on the train. On arrival we will check into the hotel and delegates will have Session 3.

Dinner tonight will be in one of the many old Madrassahs that characterise this town.

31st OCTOBER 2020

Bukhara

A relaxing start this morning as we start to explore the old town with its hundred madrassahs, mosques and minarets.

We will start with the iconic Kalan Mosque and Minaret and the Mir Amir Madrassah, the only one that is still functioning today. We will try Plov Bukharan style for a lunch and then continue our tour in Lyabi Hauz and the old Jewish quarter.

Delegates will return to the hotel for Session 4.

Free evening for you to rest or eat in one of Bukhara’s delightful restaurants.

1st NOVEMBER 2020

Bukhara

Session 5 will start the day for delegates and then we will continue our tour with one of the few buildings to survive Ghanghis Khan’s rather destructive visit in the 12th century - The Somoli Mausoleum – with its amazing use of the new technology of fired bricks.

Then to the Ark, the home of the Khans (Kings) of Bhukara and this time the victim of a more modern invader.

Extensively bombed from the air and shelled from the ground by the Bolsheviks in 1920’s this massive palace complex and fortification was partially destroyed.

Back for Session 6.

2nd NOVEMBER 2020

Bukhara

This morning we shall leave Bukhara and drive to Gizfduyam home of a master ceramicist Ali Sem Naxarayev. There will be a pottery workshop as well as a demonstration and you can even try your hand at the craft!

We shall drive back to Bukhara stopping at the Summer Palace of the Khan’s and a visit to the faded elegance of this most powerful ruler. This afternoon we have reserved a 16th century hammam ( Turkish Bath ) and we will be offering exclusive sessions there with steam rooms, a massage and relaxation room. As it is our exclusively we will have male slots and female slots (it is normally exclusively male). Full details nearer the time.

This evening we will eat in Minzifa restaurant, a wonderful blend of Uzbek and European food.

3rd NOVEMBER 2020

Bukhara to Samarkand

Session 7 to start the day then some free time for last minute shopping or exploring before we leave at 13:30 to take the 14:50 fast train to Samarkand arriving at 17:20 then to the Grand Samarkand hotel to check in and enjoy a dinner in the hotel.

4th NOVEMBER 2020

Samarkand

Though not as densely packed with sights as our previous cities the sheer scale and beauty will overawe you.

First is a visit to the Amir Timor Mausoleum, built to house the remains of this national hero of the 15th Century, and one of the most beautifully decorated buildings yet. Amir Timor lies here in his Jade cask and disturbing him, rumour has it , leads to disaster for those that dare.

Then to the massive Bibi Kanym Mosque which towers over the Old City, and after visiting we will keep it in our sights for lunch on the delightful terrace restaurant overlooking it.

Then to Registan Square which adorns every advertisement article and guide book about this country. One of the most magnificent squares in the Islamic world and the undoubted highlight of the tour.The 3 Madrassahs (Islamic colleges); Ulug Beg Madrassah, Tillya Kari Madrassah and Shir Dor Madrassah, that border the square have been restored to their former glory.

Its scale and beauty allow it to compete with the glories of Bukhara or the authenticity of Khiva for your lasting memory of this trip.

5th NOVEMBER 2020

Samarkand to Tashkent

Session 9 then a final tour of Samarkand with a visit to the Shah I Zinder Mausoleum complex with its intense turquoise tiles and the resting place of the cousin of the Prophet a holy site of pilgrimage in the Moslem world.

Though we have always avoided the high pressure commercially distasteful carpet emporia in past trips the Samarkand factory is genuinely interesting and, in typically Uzbek style, absent from intense selling. Learn about the history of silk production and see both spinning and dyeing demonstrated. Then on to the hand looms and witness the unbelievable dexterity and intensity needed to produce these works of art. Of course, if you want to buy them...

We will be taking the 17:00 high speed train to Tashkent – about 2.5 hours in an incredibly comfortable train. Check in to the Hyatt Hotel – back to where we started.

Final Night Dinner.

6th NOVEMBER 2020

Tashkent to London

After breakfast we will leave the hotel at around 10:00 to the airport for your flight back to London at 13:45. If all goes smoothly you will land at Heathrow at 16:25 with a full weekend to sort your photos and find somewhere for all those carpets, fabrics and pottery souvenirs….

 

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