I arrived at midday in Bukhara, after a pleasant and fast train trip. My hotel is right on the main square, mama Nazira gave me the biggest welcoming hug ever. It immediately felt like meeting an old friend. My room is beautiful and quiet. Due to the fact that I twisted my ankle on my last day in Samarkand, I couldn’t walk too far. I sat down on the square and watched the world go by. Quite content to just sit and enjoy watching the people.
Bukhara is much smaller and thus much more intimate, compared to Samarkand. People are again very friendly, and quickly I became a fixture on the square. The square has a big artificial lake, which has fountains all around it. The square is lined with ancient mulberry tree, in which the birds delight. There is plenty to see and do, I have four days here, so I decided to take it easy.
Around the square are several beautiful places to visit.In the early morning sunrise when the birds awaken is the best time to wander around. The bus loads of tour groups don’t arrive until about ten in the morning, plenty of time to wander through the old streets of this old Silk Road town. The madrassas are filled with little craft shops selling the most gorgeous hand made items. Silk clothing and products are high on the list. Of course the silkworm loves to munch on the mulberry leaves, of which there are plenty. I decided to see just a few sights early in the morning, than have a rest, Give my ankle some time to rest and heal. Since it is rather warm, well okay it is hot, right now. It makes sense to stay indoors and have a siesta in the afternoon.
At night the town turns into a reflection of fairyland, the big pool ref electing all the fairy lights hung in trees. The place is buzzing with life music, a fourteen year old violinist plays favourite music, the theme song of the Titanic movie is my favourite. The restaurant serves delicious meals for less than A$5 . Tourists gather to sit in the scented night air, while the heat of the day turns into a delightful coolness, appreciated by all.
I met a delightful young woma, Catalina, from Romania, and we decided to see the traditional dance show and fashion Parade, inclusive of a delightful diner. A great evening, stunning music, fabulous dances and costumes, all very enjoyable.
Shopping is the main past time, next time I will come directly to this place, with an empty suitcase! Everything, literally everything is hand made. A delight to watch people working at their craft. Silk is very big, and a lot of the women are special crafts people, highly qualified in their trade! Artisans study to a high degree and their diplomas are often proudly on display. It is pure delight to watch these highly competent people applying their craft.
Mosques, madrassas, markets and muses, all in walking distance of the centre. A compact, fascinating town, with a delightful atmosphere. Bukhara, I will miss you so much, you have made me feel so welcome, I feel at home here. Don’t worry, I will be back! Insh’allah.