Key Country Facts
It is one of only two countries in the world that are double landlocked, the other being Liechtenstein.
The capital of Uzbekistan is Tashkent. There are approximately 29,000,000 people living here (as of 2016). The official language of Uzbekistan is Uzbek, in some areas Karakalpak also has official status. The majority of Uzbekistani practice Islam.
Major exports of Uzbekistan include energy products, cotton, gold, mineral fertilizers, ferrous and nonferrous metals, textiles, foodstuffs, machinery, and automobiles.
When visiting, tourists should visit the Registan, or “Sandy place”. Formerly a public square to hear royal proclamations, the court now stands surrounded by three madrasahs, or Islamic schools.
These are the final 4 lines of poet James Elroy Flecker’s The Golden Journey to Samarkand.
Ok, so I didn’t make it to Samarkand, but hope to one day. When traveling through the “Stans” one of the difficulties is navigating the once-weekly flights between countries. I was sick that I couldn’t get to Samarkand or Bukhara, but such is life.
Tashkent is a lovely, modern city with several rivers running through it, and a large “central” park with a collection of water fountains, culminating in Niagara Falls. (insert picture)
They have a fantastic marketplace in Tashkent (actually they have 30+ markets) but the biggest is worth visiting.
I was able to make some Obi nan sesame bread with a local baker, and there are a ton of interesting fruits and veggies to admire. The black market rate for dollars was 6300 to 1 and for a cool souvenir I got a “brick” of 500 some bills for ten bucks.
At the handicraft market I asked one of the artisans if he would show me how to make a wooden plate and he was happy to oblige.