0- Bibikhanum Hotel y Mosque
2- Mausoleums of Rukhabad, Guri Amir y Ak Sarai
3- Necropolis Shah-i-Zinda
It’s about 10 AM when we’ve got our breakfast and
are ready to leave the hotel and explore Samarkand. The views of
Bibikhanum Mosque from the hotel are wonderful at daylight. Our plan
for today is to start by the further areas, so we’re going to the area
known as Afrosiab, where we’re going to visit necropolis Shah-i-Zinda.
We take Tashkent Avenue in the opposite direction
where Registan is. There is a lot of live in the avenue and in the
market, as we pass by its entrance, in contrast of what the look we got
from these places last night. We don’t stop, as these near places are
plan for be visited tomorrow, and we reach the end of the avenue in no
time. There, we have a look of mosque Khazret Khizr across the road,
but the bridge connecting to it is closed and the guards in the door
are giving us indications to the necropolis: we must go to the road in
a lower level and follow it.
We follow that indications and, after passing by a
modern cemetery, we reach the entrance to Shah-i-Zinda which, again, is
through an iwan, that sort of massive door which seems to have all the
ancient buildings in this country.
We pay 10000 soms each for our admission tickets
and 3000 soms more for the photo permission and take the staircase up
to reach a narrow street with beautiful blue walls. In the map below,
which can be expanded to read the indications, the entrance is at the
right. We’re at the end of that long passway, which represents the
staircase, between the pink squares.
Every door here leads to a mausoleum, which use to be a small
room with a tiny window and with walls whether covered by blue tiling
or with no decoration, all white, with one or more tombs on the floor.
There are a lot of people here today, but they’re looking
like locals or neighbors. We can see women praying in most of the
mausoleums and offerings in most of the tombs, like bank notes.
This street gets an opened space at right before ending in
some wooden doors breaking the blue patterns in the walls.
The most crowded mausoleum and the one with more praying is
Qusam ibn Abbos. It is the biggest too, with a few rooms and even a
mosque. We could say is the most beautiful too.
After the door that is the exit of this street there is a
place with stairs to the modern cemetery, so we turn around and walk
through that street again, but for leaving it this time. Besides the
stairs we climb at the beginning there is a space with wonderful views
to Bibikhanum Mosque.
We explore the places close to the entrance we
missed before leaving the complex. Once back in the streets, Eva uses a
public toilet, for which we pay 1000 soms.
It’s 11:30 AM and we want to take a taxi to Ulugbek
Observatory. We’re not managing to get an official one, so we get to
the guy that stop for us and get the deal of 5000 soms for the short
Admission tickets for the observatory are 22000
soms each and we think it is expensive for what we see: a basic museum
and the remains of the biggest sextant in the world, which was built by
Ulugbek here using an entire building. This price is just two euros
something, but its twice the price of the necropolis and that makes a
We leave the top of this hill by taking the stairs down to
the level where the statue of the astronomer Ulugbek is. This place
seems to be one of the favorites for grooms and brides for pictures as
we can see even three couples in a photo session here.
The next taxi we take is finally to Registan. This time it is
an official one and it takes us through narrow and damaged streets as a
shortcut to the most popular place in this country by 10000 soms.
It’s 12:45 PM when we’re in front of this wonder
that is Registan, the most iconic place in the whole country. We didn’t
know if we were going to get our lunch before or after this visit, but
now we can see it there is no doubt, and no hunger either.
There is a view point in the street as the complex
is closed for the ones that are not paying for it. We walk down by the
right side to the ticket box, where we pay 30000 soms each and get into
the square to look around amazed.
We start by this left side and get into the first
madrasa, Sher-Dor. The highlights here are the tigers in its iwan, the
internal courtyard and the two blue domes.
The next is madrasa Tillya Kari, the one in the
center of all Registan pictures. The highlights here are the courtyard
with trees and the golden interior of the mosque.
We end the visit with the madrasa Ulugbek. This
way, we’ve visited the three madrasas from newer to older. The
highlights here are the gardened courtyard and the interior rooms, with
painted wooden columns.
We leave the complex because we’re going to lunch.
The street, just across Registan side, is full of restaurants and we
choose one that is offering plov by 9000 soms. The price is finally
twice, as they say the offer is for small portions. This is the worst
plov we eat is served with boiled chicked pieces looking like leftovers
as meat, instead of the usual pieces of beef or lamb. We pay 40000 soms
for the lunch.
It’s not 3 PM yet, so we decide to go on with our
visits and walking this same street down to the mausoleums area. We
soon reach Amur Temir Park where the domes over the trees are showing
us where the monuments are. We first go to mausoleum of Rukhabad.
Then, we walk across a courtyard with a yurt to
reach the wonderful Guri Amir Mausoleum. The admission ticket is 22000
We finally need to ask to reach Ak Saray Mausoleum.
With this we’ve done more visits that we thought
for today and we’ve only left the mosque besides the hotel for
tomorrow, so we walk back to Registan. There, we make some shopping in
a modern supermarket we saw before. Then, we walk back to the hotel by