This trip was provided by Mountain Travel SOBEK (MTS) and they an incredible job in every category  and we stayed at the Grand Samarakand hotel.  Samarakand  is perhaps the most famous of the Silk Road cities, one of the oldest cities in the world and one of the great destinations in world travel. From its founding in the 7th century BC, Samarkand has been as the crossroads of great trade routes, cultures and peoples and was conquered by Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan.


In the 14th century, Tamerlane made Samarkand the capital of his empire and transformed the city into one of the finest in Central Asia. Its most famous feature is Registan Square, bordered on three sides by the three huge and stunning blue tiles madrassas Ulugbek, Sher Dor and Tillya Kari, perhaps the defining image of Central Asia and the Silk Road. (below)


Tile Work below



The Bibi Khanum Mosque has been compared to the Taj Mahal as Tamerlane constructed it for his wife. (Below)


Other notable features include Ulug Beg’s Observatory, where the great medieval astronomer calculated the length of the year to within 10 seconds and the sextant was huge and underground below


We also visited the Shakhi-Zinda Mausoleum complex and the gold-lined Gur Amir below, with incredible tiled ceilings



We visited the mausoleum of Tamerlane and his sons and grandsons as well.  We stayed at the Grand Samarakand hotel and at night went to some dance and music festivals below



and local market that has incredible bread


Samarkand is a city in modern-day Uzbekistan and is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia.  At times Samarkand was one of the greatest cities of Central Asia. The city was taken by Alexander the Great in 329 BC, when it was known by its Greek name of Marakanda. The city was ruled by a succession of Iranian, Persian, and Turkish peoples until the Mongols under Genghis Khan conquered Samarkand in 1220. Today, Samarkand is the capital of Samarqand Region, and Uzbekistan’s third largest city  other photos and information below,




incredible tile work






• The Registan, a famous example of Islamic architecture. It consists of three separate buildings:
• Madrasa of Ulugh Beg (1417–1420)
• Sher-Dor Madrasah (Lions Gate) (1619–1635/36).
• Tilla-Kori Madrasah (1647–1659/60).
• Bibi-Khanym Mosque (replica)
• Gur-e Amir Mausoleum (1404)
• Observatory of Ulugh Beg (1428–1429)
• Shah-i-Zinda necropolis
• Historical site of Afrasiyab (7th century BC – 13th century AD)
• Siyob Bazaar

From here we traveled overland to Bukhara