Charvak is a great place for a lake holiday, but if you continue a bit further up the twisting mountain roads you'll eventually meet the tallest point in eastern Uzbekistan, the 3309 meter (10,856 feet) Chimgan peak. Snow capped until early June, with snowfields preserved on its northern slopes year round, this mountain retreat serves … Continue reading Day 19: Greater Chimgan
If Chevrolet has a near monopoly on new car sales in Uzbekistan, Lada takes the top prize for pride in ownership, and raw Soviet aesthetic. Few cars have maintained the same basic body style as long as the iconic Lada 2100 series, production lasting from 1970 to 2012, an amazing 42 years. Not the only … Continue reading Day 29: Lada Power!
Tashkent residents are very proud of their metro system. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in being one of the most beautiful in the world. When it opened in 1977, the Tashkent Metro was the 7th in the USSR, and the first in Central Asia. The latter held true until the opening … Continue reading Day 30: Tashkent Metro
Just an hour and a half outside Tashkent, a fascinating Soviet relic sits perched on a hillside near the village of Changikhisarak. One of the Soviet Wonders of the World, the физика-солнце, literally "Physics Sun" Institute of Uzbekistan, is the second biggest solar furnace in the world surpassed only by the Odeillo solar furnace in the Pyrenees … Continue reading Day 34: Parkent Solar Furnace
When Soviet planners were considering a location to process the output of the rich gold and uranium deposits of Uzbekistan, rather than build new infrastructure in an existing city, the USSR Ministry of Atomic Energy instead chose to lay out a brand new city from scratch in the valley of the Zeravshan River about 100km … Continue reading Day 47: Navoi
Advertised as one of the greatest city parks in the country, Alisher Navoi park provides residents of bustling Tashkent a welcome respite from hectic city life. Shaded paths under massive trees along idyllic canals and grassy areas to relax, we could see how, in its heyday, this park was Tashkent's primary leisure center. Sparsely populated … Continue reading Alisher Navoi National Park
Turkish Airlines, Boston to Istanbul, Istanbul to Tashkent. By the time we arrived in Istanbul, I had already been mauled by our tyrannical Tuscan farm cat Ponce. While attempting to quench his kitty thirst on the 11 hour flight, he decided he didn't like the oral syringe method, and proceeded to sink his fangs deep … Continue reading Uzbekistan – First Impressions