Our original plan for today was head to Bukhara from Samarkand via Nurata but our driver had told us that the roads to Nurata had got considerably bad and would add an additional 3 hours of driving to a 6 hour day. We collectively decided to skip Nurata and head straight for Bukhara. The roads in Uzbekistan are awful to say the least. Pot holes the size of craters and lunatic drivers. The going was rough and bumpy and long. Luckily we had air con and books to keep us going the long ride to Bukhara. We stopped in Gidjuvan at a local potters house/come factory/come shop and had a demonstration of their ceramics. The potters were lovely and it was interesting to see their process was still done by human power/donkey power.
There was in fact a 3 day old baby donkey there which some of us took great interest in.
We took a peek inside their kilns to see all the pots and plates while we munched on some freshly baked Non from the potter’s wife.
After lunch we stopped at the Emir’s Summer Palace outside Bukhara. The last Emir built the summer palace at the beginning of the 20th Century.
There were some rather noisy peacocks wandering around the grounds showing us their feathers and squawking left right and centre.
We walked through the Emir’s state rooms which were decorated in a somewhat interesting way – think sparkly 60’s!
We made our way to the Emir’s hareem and lake/pool outside. Our guide told us how he liked to make his women bathe in the pool naked, once he had selected his favourite he would throw them an apple. I’m sure it was a wonderful site in its heyday but it was looking a little tired and not as restored as what we were used to seeing in Samarkand. It was refreshing but strange to get your head round after the sites we had just seen.
Our last stop of the day before dinner was a visit to a local Suzanni workshop. Sulihoh was a wonderful Uzbek lady who created the most amazing Suzanni spreads, pillow cases, wall hangings and so much more. The quality of her work was astounding – she was currently being commissioned by the German Embassy for a huge wall hanging. We looked through many many pieces of work and were advised that some of them can take 1 lady a year to embroider!
A few items were purchased by several people in the group – in hindsight we wished we have purchased a piece, lesson learned!!! Despite the long drive we arrived in the Lybai house area of Bukhara which was a lovely square with bars and shops which made it all worth it! Happy Travelling!! More from Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan Overview Tashkent 24th April Tashkent to Samarkand Shakrisabz Samarkand What else we have been up to: New Forest June 2015 Portsmouth Dockyards May 2015