This is a post for those of you who share my love of Islamic architecture. We really fell in love with the buildings in Uzbekistan – the colours, patterns, the sense of humility. In as much as I value communities being ‘precious’ about their historical relics, it was refreshing to see people just living among them. Women sit knitting and selling their patterned slippers in the entries – keeping one eye on you, and hoping they will sell a few of their wares. I don’t think I saw a single turnstile – you are mostly free to explore as you wish, and it’s often hard to define the border between ‘historical site’ and ‘street.’ Tourism hasn’t hit Uzbekistan in such a big way yet (yet!) that visitors need to be managed like unruly cattle. People remember you, and trust that you’ll do the right thing. Putting aside the tedious visa registration process and occasional passport check, it’s a relaxed place to explore.
I promise this is the last of the three ‘m’s (mosques, minarets and medrassahs) – I’m sorry if you’re sick of it! I still have a few shots to share from rural Uzbekistan, and then on to Romania.
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