17.8.10

Samarkand II: Festival of Bread

On this day we needed to get some money because we had run out. We found out where there was a bank and we could get hold of some US Dollars using credit cards and travellers cheques. We set out in the bright sunny morning on foot from our hotel, past the big statue of Timur and across the square. Samarkand is quite a pleasant city with tree-lined avenues everywhere. We hadn't gone far up the street when it turned into a festival of bread.




Ruth and Hannah walking past some displays of wheat.


A traditionally-dressed Uzbek shows off his bread.





There were horn-blowers...


...and dancers.

They were very good.


















video

These dancers were really amazing to see!


They were so energetic. The dance was telling a story.














Beautiful Uzbek ladies in traditional dresses.


and lots and lots of bread.


Look at the size of his horn!

We found the bank and got hold of some dollars. The exchange rate in the banks is really bad so we didn't get Uzbek Sum we got US Dollars and still had to find somewhere to change them for a decent rate. We had to trek all the way accross to the other side of the city. We had run out of money completely and couldn't even get any lunch.

We went to the market to find someone who would help us change money. This is just a small part of the market. Eventually we got it sorted and went to find some lunch.

We found a cafe that was pretty good, although the food was the usual traditional fayre for this part of the world which we were beginning to get sick of. This is manty. Mutton and onions in a boiled dumpling.

After lunch we visited the Bibi Khanym Mosque. Ruth was so fed up with blue mosaic covered old buildings she didn't even go in this one. It was a very tall one though!


Domes of the Bibi Khanym Mosque. Amazing great big Koranic script on the outside.
The entrance to the Bibi Khanym Mosque. It is very tall.

It looks a bit like Dungeoness Power Station from this angle.







The huge Iwan at the Bibi Khanym.

Inside the Iwan. It made an incredible echo if you clapped your hands or stamped your feet in the middle of it. A beautiful dubby rhythmic delay effect. These buildings have great visual and acoustic geometric designs.




One of the cars belonging to some people doing the Mongol Rally. We still kept bumping into Mongol Rally participants.



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