A Travellerspoint blog

Tashkent at First Glance

sunny 23 °C

If first impressions count then you can count us in as far as Uzbekistan is concerned. Almost everywhere looks good under a blazing sun but the country's capital of Tashkent was radiant as we took our first stroll along its wide tree-lined boulevards...


And through the many parks in the city centre...

We will talk more of the history of this Central Asian country when we've had a chance to do some serious sightseeing, but there is no doubt that in some ways Tashkent benefited considerably from a massive earthquake that wrecked the old city in 1966. A new city blossomed and this is the bronze monument erected during the Soviet era to honour the courage and strength of the Uzbek citizens who re-built their capital...


Many buildings escaped destruction and one elaborate building that was created for the Russians in the 1930s is now the Museum of Applied Arts. The carvings and tilework are simply stunning...


The Russians have long gone but there are many reminders of the Soviet times. For instance: under communism all religions were driven underground. Now that Uzbekistan is a secular democracy new religious buildings, (especially mosques), are springing up. This is a new mosque in the city centre...


While the adjacent madrassa has survived from the 15th century and now houses the world's oldest quo'ran.


We can't show you this priceless deerskin manuscript but we can show you our lunch...


We are travelling throughout Uzbekistan with our good friend Christine and we have both a driver and a guide who joined us for lunch. So, what would we have to pay for a delicious lunch of chicken, pumpkin and potato pasties made with crisp phyllo pastry for five? How about twenty three thousand som? Yes – an eye-watering 23,000 Uzbek som. To save you reaching for a currency converter we can tell you that the total cost was exactly two dollars and forty three cents US. ($2.43), less than two English pounds. However, in a very western coffee house in the swankiest part of the city we paid a staggering five US dollars for 3 large cappuccinos made with our favourite Viennese coffee from Julius Meinl. But Meinl coffee is everywhere here...


We may be in the very heart of Central Asia but there is a great familiarity with many products on sale here. For example: most of the cars are the latest Chevrolets because they are built here. However, there were a few unfamiliar items on the dinner menu...

P.S. They were delicious, as was the whole meal at just $8 U.S. per person. (and we thought Turkey was cheap).

We have already started on the museums, the galleries and the stores filled with local crafts. So much to see and so little time but the internet may not be reliable. So, if you don't hear from us for a few days or weeks – don't worry. We are in good hands. (And we certainly won't starve).

Posted by Hawkson 19:03 Archived in Uzbekistan

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Looking forward to more. looks beautiful.

by Sue Fitzwilson

What a beautiful city! X

by Pippa

Pasties look delicious and maybe the beef tongue in mushroom sauce but......

by R and B

Looking at that statue. It looks like a strong man protecting a woman and a child. Interesting that the times that makes us feel so vulnerable create art of solid looking indomitable men.

by Janet

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