Day 1 – Traveling to Tashkent

A LONG journey to get to Tashkent with seemingly interminable layovers. This little child amused herself and me as she weighed in at the airport in Seattle.

In Istanbul, garments change but devices remain the same.

Istanbul’s new airport is an amazingly modern city unto itself. I was told by a proud employee that it has been designated the number one airport in Europe. It even honors the past by including a squat toilet amongst the stalls of a women’s bathroom. The sign on the stall door announces the historic facilities. Despite the many women waiting in line, no one chose this option.

I found a feature on the airplane map app that displays what the airplane camera is capturing as it flies over the earth. Here we are approaching Tashkent.

At the Tashkent baggage claim, a very large group that had made the pilgrimage to Mecca searched for their bags and boxes of blessed holy water, ignoring slick ads for a super cool lifestyle.

Tashkent is clean, modern, and full of large imposing buildings.

After a long nap, I visited the State Museum of the History of Uzbekistan.

An enormous painting of the Fergana Valley greets visitors, reminding me of the Santa Clara Valley of my childhood.

An entire floor presents the history of Uzbekistan. I was attracted to the script on a very large book of the Koran.

Armor from the time of Timur (Tamerlane) a military leader in the 13th century who created a great empire and developed economic ties that strengthened trade on the Silk Road.

Traditional Uzbek dress. The metal is for display and not part of the costume, but women’s faces were covered, to be sure.

The entire top floor is devoted to the modern independent Uzbek state with displays promoting its science, agriculture, sports and culture, etc.

A man sleeps on the grass hidden the well-manicured gardens surrounding the museum.

Dinner with a couple of fellow travelers at a comfortable restaurant with outside seating. The lamb kabobs were delicious, but I was mostly taken by this teapot which delivered chunks of ginger and orange floating in the tea. This concoction could become addictive.

After the miserable transit, I’m feeling rested and ready to explore, masked and hand sanitized to avoid Covid, which several group members have contracted. Tomorrow a train trip.

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