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Uzbekistan is mainly known, for its ancient cities on the old silk road such as Bukhara and Samarkand. Despite the beauty of these towns Tashkent became the capital of the Uzbek SSR in 1930. The great history of Tashkent is not really visible. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that Ghengis Khan in 1219 and the Russians in 1865 destroyed it big time. Still, there remained some major and the only well preserved mosques of the areas.

Uzbekistan is mainly known, for its ancient cities on the old silk road such as Bukhara and Samarkand. Despite the beauty of these towns Tashkent became the capital of the Uzbek SSR in 1930. The great history of Tashkent is not really visible. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that Ghengis Khan in 1219 and the Russians in 1865 destroyed it big time. Still, there remained some major and the only well preserved mosques of the areas.

Therefore Tashkent in 2007 was named the cultural capital of the Islamic world. But this is of course an episode that was only written after is independence in 1991. Before that the “soviet” face of the city was really fitting the pictures of a state, which is not connected in any way to religion and superstition. Toshkent, how it is called in Uzbek, is the administrative centre of Uzbekistan and many citizens from the other areas often have to come to town for some paperwork. Tashkent is much milder in terms of the climate, than the counterparts in Bukhara and Samarkand, but it is much more controlled in terms of military presence.

There is one funny action taking place every evening at around 5 p.m. – the so called president street is completely blocked for traffic for about half an hour and then suddenly police cars are flying over the streets like rockets and after a short distance President Islam Karimov in his black diplomatic car is following the pace of his guards. This is quite awkward in a way and says a lot about the political circumstances in central Asia. Tashkent is very enjoyable. There is a vibrant nightlife and despite the fact that Islam is the predominant religion that doesn’t mean that people don’t drink. So you can enjoy lots of parties. In my experience that mainly refers to men though, women surely can not live the free life that one has in the west. But being from the west probably excludes from the prohibitions of the local society.

Tashkent is the most urban of the towns in Uzbekistan. You probably won’t find peasant on donkey and loads of wild animals as you can do in the countryside. But you have access to many international institutions and cultural highlights. Prices are low and you discover growing activity on the markets. The silk road is slowly coming back. Uzbekistan has its very own airline Uzbek Airways, but you can also take Aeroflot and just recently I saw Air Baltic flying to Tashkent as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tashkent
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzbekistan
http://www.advantour.com/uzbekistan/

written by wil6ka

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