Archive for April, 2006

Navorz-holiday in Buchara

April 4, 2006




For Uzbek and Tajik people Navroz is one of the most important holidays during the year. It’s the time, when winter will be told farewell and spring is coming to town. Officially there are two days for celebrating the custom: 21st and 22nd of March. This is what we were sure about. But almost out of nothing the Tajik government announced two additional days one week before the commencement of Navroz. I fortunately already possessed an Uzbek Visa, which are difficult to obtain, and decided to continue my previously started round trip through that neighbor country. At 20th of March I started with Nicolas, a colleague form ACTED (French NGO). A taxi brought us to the border at Turzunzade and we crossed without difficulties.



We organized a taxi to go to Samarkand. But we didn’t know that Jiguli with gas tanks do not go up the mountains quickly. It took us 9 hours instead of 5 to reach Samarkand! But the trip was funny. To lower the fares two Uzbek joined us and after several control posts between governorates – where our driver had to pay bakshish as much as one person fare – we had our evening meal, cincluding 2 bottles of vodka…



In samarkand we stayed at least two days, visited all available sight and met two friends of Nicolas. Romin and Cristin, who are working with the French embassy in Teheran. They had already organized a round trip through UZB and invited us to join their tour. I enjoyed for the next days the French way of life: eating and talking for hours, tasting good wine, having aperitifs, going to one more bar for a last beer… and we even found a Jazz Bar in Samarkand. Very good food, moderate prices and good music!




When we traveled further to Buchara, we passed plain, steppe country side. And Buchara is marvelous! The city has still it’s old architectural heritages and an old city. Though it has already been prepared for tourists, one can enjoy the atmosphere for days, if not weeks. And I even found a hammam, something that I miss now for two years.


The last days of our vacation we spent going back to Samarkand and organizing an affordable transport opportunity. And, luckily, we met one colleague from the German House in Dushanbe, who offered two spare places in his car. We reached Dushanbe on 26th of March, preparing for the start of the new week…