Yellow desert sands, blessed isletsoases, minarets and snow-white walls of fortresses ... Do you think that all this is a description of some exotic country of the Middle East? Not at all. In order to see with your own eyes a hot desert, plunge into the bustling polyphony of a real oriental bazaar or step under the shadow of fortress walls, the stones of which are eaten by time, it is not necessary to go to troubled Saudi Arabia or Syria. Travel to Uzbekistan will be a great alternative for those who want to take a step out of modern everyday life into a fairy tale of a thousand and one nights. Especially if you decided to neglect the services of airlines and go to conquer the vastness of Uzbekistan while driving your own SUV.
What to take on the road?
What is the beginning of any journey? Of course - fees. Especially if you go on a journey by car. Any caravan knows that the quality of rest "on wheels" directly depends on how thoroughly you prepared your car for many kilometers of stretches of the road. All the equipment necessary for travel can be divided into several groups. - Money and documents. These are two components, without which you can not realize your grandiose plans. First of all, carefully plan your budget, not forgetting that the main part of the route lies on the territory of another state where there is a currency. For travel to Uzbekistan you will need: the whole package of documents for the car, the Russian driver's license, the passport of the citizen of Russia, the passport (it is worth recalling that for Russian citizens in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan there is a visa-free entry regime) and medical insurance. The main part of the money is best kept on the bank card. But you should consult your bank in advance if the card is valid on the territory of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In case of theft or loss of the card, you can easily block it and thereby secure your money. But you can not manage without cash. The so-called "unforeseen expenses" are best to provide in advance, shops or gas stations on the road in the desert or the desert can be, but you will hardly find an ATM there.
- Spare parts. The main load during the autotravel falls on the car. Therefore, it is best to take care of its technical condition in advance and have spare parts, canisters with fuel, motor oil and antifreeze.
- GPS-navigator and maps. Nobody wants to lose the time of his well-deserved vacation, wandering on unfamiliar roads. GPS-navigator and map help you navigate the terrain.
- Personal things, hygiene products and drinking water.
- Communications and chargers. Going on a trip by car, do not forget about becoming such a familiar mobile phone. In advance, replenish the account and find out from your mobile operator about the cost of outgoing calls and SMS in roaming. If you expect to spend a long time in another country, then using SIM cards of local mobile operators, you will reduce the cost of telephone calls. It's useful to have a charger with you, which allows you to charge the phone from the car battery.
- Camera or video camera and chargersdevices to them. There is no need to remind you that there must be a means in the journey with which you can write down your impressions and then show them to friends and acquaintances. Just make sure that you have enough memory cards, cassettes, etc. Because on this trip you will have what to write down.
Well, things are collected, the route is chosen. Forward, towards adventure!
How to pave the way to Uzbekistan?
Before you go on a trip tocar in Uzbekistan, you could hardly imagine how the culture of Europe and Asia in Russia is intricately mixed. Do not believe me? Then lay your route through Tatarstan and Bashkiria. The bright white mosques of Kazan: al-Madjani, Nurulla, Azimovskaya and Kul-Sharif harmoniously blend with the Lutheran Church of St. Catherine, the Kazan Bogoroditsky Monastery and the Peter and Paul Cathedral. By the way, Kazan has its own "falling" tower Syuyumbike, one of the highest in Europe. And the central, historical part of the city is a living evidence of a close intertwining of cultures. Bashkiria, with its horse-breeding plants, koumiss and beshbarmak ... It seems that at any moment from Mount Yamantau the Khan army will descend on horseback on thoroughbred horses. Important for motorists is the fact that the routes along which the route passes have a republican or Russian significance. So, throughout the journey you can get technical assistance if necessary. Or get a night's lodging in roadside motels with guarded car parks and cafes. Mountain landscapes of Bashkiria outside the window of your car imperceptibly replace boundless expanses of steppes, which means that you are close to the next stage of traveling to Uzbekistan - the first crossing of the state border. If you have correctly drawn up all the documents, then problems with crossing the border of Kazakhstan should arise. The only thing worth mentioning about is the filling of the customs declaration. Make it all! Starting from personal belongings and decorations, and ending with a mobile phone, so that on the road you do not have any misunderstandings. If you did not take care in advance about exchanging Russian rubles for tenge, you can do it on the border.
Road through the steppes of Kazakhstan
Perhaps, the heaviest and most deserted partyour journey will be the road through Kazakhstan. Endless steppes, small towns and a few yurts of nomadic shepherds - that's the whole civilization. Therefore, in order not to remain without fuel in the middle of the route, stock up on gasoline in advance. By the way, you will receive the first lessons of true oriental hospitality in the steppes of Kazakhstan. Wherever you make a stop, at a lonely standing yurt of a shepherd or at an adobe house in a small village, you will first be given real green tea, and only then will ask about the purpose of your visit. It is impossible, not being in Kazakhstan, to visit Balkhash, a unique phenomenon of nature, a half-salty, half-fresh lake, amazing with its pristine beauty and purity of water. The habitat of nomadic and sedentary peoples of Asia, known since the eighth century. Numerous tourist centers and campsites located on its coast, will become a place of rest, a kind of oasis in the steppe, enabling to enjoy the cleanest air before the next segment of the road. Having rested on the shore of Lake Balkhash and gained strength, you can go to the next stage of your journey, which also begins with the crossing of the border. That's where your carefully-filled declaration comes in handy. Judging by the reviews of autotravelers, the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is not the place you will remember with a smile. Therefore, to cross it is best rested and collected. And yet, remember our advice at the beginning of the article? You must have some money with you in the local Uzbek currency - sumac.
Tashkent is a city of thousands of fountains
No matter how difficult it isbelieve that Tashkent is worth their while. The capital of Uzbekistan is a city of thousands of fountains, the city of the World, the city of Friendship, the capital of Islamic culture. These are just a few of the epithets that the city awards tourists who have ever set foot on the fertile land of Tashkent. This city is one of the brightest examples of fortitude. It was literally reconstructed from bricks after the earthquake of 1966. At the same time, most of the architectural values were lost. Now Tashkent is the embodiment of the architectural thought of modern architects. Modern buildings are admired. Here, in an earthquake-prone zone, multi-storey buildings, despite everything, rush to the altitude. The beauty of Tashkent fountains and parks can be told endlessly. The capital of Uzbekistan is a very green city - despite the almost 50-degree summer heat, you will not find a single piece of land that would not have been ennobled and planted with the sensitive hands of local residents. The Tashkent Metro is also an architectural work of art, some even say that the Tashkent metro is more beautiful than Moscow. But anyway, in any case it remains the only one in Central Asia. Modern hotels are always ready to welcome you in their walls. It is especially worth noting that on the territory of Uzbekistan you must register at the place of residence on the third day after your arrival. But this problem does not arise if you will settle only in those hotels that have the right to register. You will be provided with this information at the reception.
Samarkand is the pearl of the east
For anyone who travels by car,a pleasant surprise will be the quality of roads in Uzbekistan. They meet all modern requirements and standards, because the tourism business is an important branch of the economy of Uzbekistan. And one of the brightest pearls in the crown of the east is considered to be Samarkand. Since ancient times Samarkand, then Sogdiana, was considered the enlightening capital of the East. Numerous ancient madrassahs - Ulugbek (in it at one time a hundred students were studying), Tilyal-Kari, Sherdor - serve that proof. As well as the remains of the structure of the observatory of Ulugbek. And what is to be surprised if the Great Silk Road passed through Samarkand. And the cultural and scientific achievements of Europe and the Ancient East were brought here on the backs of two-humped camels, leaving their mark on the culture and architecture of this city. Passing through the streets of Samarkand, you seem to cross a certain time barrier, instantly plunging into the atmosphere of the ancient East. And before your inner gaze pass the great ups and downs of this beautiful city. Architectural masterpieces are found here at every step. Mausoleums of great khans and conquerors - Khoja Abdu Darun, Khoja Danier (mausoleum of Saint Daniel) and the most beautiful and revered - Bibi Khanum. If you believe the ancient legends, he was ordered to build a beautiful Bibi-khanum in honor of her husband, as a gift to his return from the military campaign, but at the price of erecting this majestic structure the architect appointed a kiss of the beloved wife of the khan. Majestically tower above the city of the mosque. The business center of Chorsu is also interesting. Every street, every intersection here breathes history. Numerous guides that can be hired directly on Registan Square will gladly tell you many legends and fairy tales passed from mouth to mouth.
The Blessed Bukhara
But no matter how beautiful Samarkand, youit will be necessary to leave it to go to the city, without visiting which a trip to Uzbekistan can not be considered to be held. Through the desert solonchak plains lies the road to the blessed Bukhara. For more than two and a half thousand years, this ancient city stands on the earth. Any traveler will be attracted by the so-called old part of the city. And if you want to get a real idea of the East, then you should settle in the Old City. The only drawback for those who travel by car, may be that this part of the city is closed to motor vehicles. But on the adjacent territory there is a huge amount of well-maintained parking lots and garages, where your car will be under reliable protection. And you can fully enjoy the leisurely and measured life in the east. For those who want to eat real eastern exotics in Bukhara, there are so-called "family hotels", stylized as ancient caravanserais. In addition to overnight accommodation, you will be given the opportunity to taste authentic Uzbek dishes. Pilaf with raisins, balaza nahot, shurpa, samsa, kaurma lagman, manti and real Uzbek flat cakes. Everything to drive any gourmet crazy. And eastern sweets and endless tea-drinking under the shadow of the ancient plane trees - what is not leisure bai? But this is not attractive to Bukhara for travelers. And not even with their architectural monuments, skilful creations of architects. This is truly a blessed city. If you believe the legends, the world in Central Asia will reign as long as the storks of the Lyabi House arrive with storks and bring the young in their nest. The atmosphere of appeasement reigns in the old part of the city, as if the time here has stopped at the point of the highest rest. Whether you walk under the famous blue domes or enjoy contemplating the choppers work in the central square, watch for the rapid flashing of the needles of gold embroidery embroidering a jelly, or listen to the call of the muezzin from the Kalyan Minaret site - you feel how every stone tells you about the events that are rich in this city. The majestic walls of the fortress Ark, the winter residence of the Emir of Bukhara, make you tremble with admiration and feel like a speck of dust on the background of these ancient walls. The mausoleum of the Samanids rosy in the rays of sunrise conquers with an intricate pattern and ornament of the walls. And the famous carpet market of Bukhara! That's really true - the place where you should buy a "souvenir". True, and it will cost you not cheap. But if you need a real oriental carpet, then it should be sent to Khiva. Real connoisseurs of oriental carpets know - no matter how perfect his picture, weavers necessarily admit in him one mistake, so that the beauty of the oriental carpet is not perfect. Because Allah is perfect. To this day Khiva masters follow this tradition and admit inaccuracies in their beautiful creations. This is only a small part of those beauties that you will see in Uzbekistan. Whatever you are looking for in this country - extreme rest in the sands of Kyzylkum or on the uranium quarries of Uchkuduk, leisurely leisure under rhythmic tapping of Dafa or thoughtful study of works of ancient architecture - you will find all this here. A trip to Uzbekistan by car will be a valuable treasure in the treasury of your impressions.