Aug 12

On to Uzbekistan

After three remarkable days in Turkmenistan we have arrived in Uzbekistan. Our Internet conection is inconsistent here while in most areas of Turkmenistan there was little or none at all.

We had flown to Ashgabat Turkmenistan from Istanbul and spent the day there visiting the ancient Parthian Capital Nisa, National Museum and Sunday market. The ruins of Nisa were quite remarkable and this was my first opportunity to see a Zoroastrian city complex. It is sometimes easy to forget the significance of this indigenous religion from this part of the world. Over the next two days we visited the ancient Silk Road Cities of Mary and Merv.

In the Karakum Desert, not far from Mary lies the World Heritage Site of Gunar Tepe. This location is now being considered as the possible location of the Indo-Iranian homeland. We have some fantastic photographs and video of this place we’ll share soon.

After Mary and Merv we continued along the Silk Road across the Karakum Desert to the Uzbek border. The border crossing was two hours long but problem free. The lengthy crossing was due to long walks, long waits and filling out forms in duplicate by hand. Immediately apparent was the far more Asian character of the people as compared to the Tukic appearance of the people’s to the west. There are still a large number of Russians here as in Turmenistan and there are still blocks of old Soviet apartments but it seems to be further removed. However, the primary difference is the robust private economy here in Uzbekistan, a very welcome sight indeed.

More video and photographs are coming as we get caught up.

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