After Samarkand, came Bukhara. On the route I’m cycling west, at least. It was the same for those merchants from the East trading along the Silk Road so many centuries ago, millennia even.

Well-preserved
Well-preserved

Another central Asian city that has changed hands almost as often as I wash my clothes. First it was a vassal state of the Persian Empire, then came Alexander the Great. It became part of several different smaller empires, was razed by the Mongol, Chinggis, and passed through several other Khans.

Back streets of Bukhara today
Back streets of Bukhara today

Timur took control and later it became a feudal state until it was became part of the Russian colonial empire. Not that the British didn’t want a piece of it too… to Connelly and Stoddart’s demise. Such a Great Game this empire building and destroying.

Zindon - jail
Zindon - jail
Bug Pit - Where Connelly and Stoddart spent their last days
Bug Pit - Where Connelly and Stoddart spent their last days

Well, now it’s another well-preserved tourist destination. A little less museum-like. It’s easier to imagine what it was like in earlier times. Only the throngs of people in the streets and bazaars were absent.

The Ark
The Ark

More photos of Bukhara:

With limited time in Uzkebistan, and plenty to see… I took a share taxi to Tortkul. An afternoon journey across the Kyzyl Kum desert. That way I had time for a mini cycle tour of Khorezm, visiting some of the Elliq Qala (50 fortresses). Coming next…