Today was a sightseeing day in Samarkand. Having seen some beautiful mosaic work yesterday, the mosaics continued today. Visited the Ulugh Beg Observatory. All that remains of the observatory is the sextant arc underground and there is now a museum on the sight. What an amazing astronomer who died at the age of 55. What he would have done if he had lived to a normal old age!
Fascinating museum. Then we visited Daniels tomb. This is not his final resting place but a memorial for him as he is buried in Iran. Having been renovated it is a lovely sight.
The Shak-i-Zindah is a street like complex of mausoleums. The tiling here is beautiful and every tomb is decorated in some way with the traditional blue tiles.
Bibi Khanum mosque was named after Temur’s first wife. This is partially in ruins but it can be seen how beautiful it would have been in its day.
The bazaar was worth a visit. Lunch was found and it was interesting viewing the stalls although not as large or as exciting as Bishtek.
One of the interesting aspects of the day was the acquiring of fuel for the cars. We had been told in the morning that Samarkand had NO fuel and our guide would work on it. Late afternoon fuel was found and similar to exchanging money on the black market, this fuel was also back market. At a price at least 25 % more than retail we drove our cars to a yard where the garage had a small fuel truck. We managed to refuel all our cars and also fill jerry cans which would hopefully be adequate to get us all to the Turmenistan border in 3 days time. An interesting exercise!