DAY 32 – Stalking Timur

67 (a bunch of kms for whoever)
#Samarkand to #Shaharisabz

Probably one day to see Samarkhand it’s not enough, imagine less than one. The reader might have familiarised with the fact that making squeezed plans for historical sightseeing is our favourite hobby, but this time is quite hard: Bibi Khanum – Bazar – Ulugh Beg Observatory – Sha-i Zinda – Registan. It’s 9:30am, we have time.

We walk around the city, our nose up admiring the wonderful and gigantic buildings (although mostly reconstructed), which testify the grandeur of Tamerlan and his dinasty, dreaming of ancient times in which the Registan square, now venue for the International Music Festival, was swarming with merchants and camels coming from every corner of the world. Everything is perfect, apart that we can’t free our heads from Roberto Vecchioni’s song “Samarcanda”. Which makes everything ankward. We also learn that in Uzbekistan (or, at least, in Samarkhand) basil plants are used as hornament (and apparently not for cooking). Everything smells like Caprese around ancient buildings (especially the Sha-i Zinda). We also experience that maybe, in Samarkhand, Plov is not served for lunch, or lunch is not at 2pm. It’s matter of definitions now. Too bad, we’ll try in Tajikistan.

Leaving the magic Samarkhand to our back, we drive up and down the mountains towards Shaharisabz, hometown of Tamerlan. We want to gain some time to reach Tajikistan tomorrow. Shaharisabz is a small quiet town, where the highlight are the “ruins” (basically just the main entrace) of Tamerlan’s palace, a gigantic 38 meters tall vault with intricated arabesques of maiolica. It’s just impressive.

The family keeping the hostel where e sleep invites us for dinner, where we finally get Plov. Can you image? Plov for dinner. What a heresy. By the way it’s good, and we also end the dinner with the hole family (uncles and brothers) drinking their homemade vodka distilled from grape (grappa then?) and our Amaro Montenegro.

Number of countries crossed: 13
Days without accidents: 4
Number of times the counter has been reset: 2
Number of times the Jelly Belly has been washed: 1