Travel Diaries – Uzbekistan | Day 2 – City tour highlights
Tashkent, the current capital of Uzbekistan was destroyed by a massive earthquake in the 1900’s. It’s a city that rose up from the flames like a phoenix. As a result, the city that stands today is a mixture of 12th-century architecture and prominent modern Soviet architecture.
Day 2 of my travel is a city tour. I visit the most prominent sites in the city. Read on to find out my travel experiences on that particular day.
I reached the hotel after 6 and went to bed around 6.30 in the morning and woke up at 8. The only thing that could bring me out of my groggy tired state was a delicious breakfast and I got just that.
We then left the hotel around 1 and the first stop of the day was Lal Bahadur Shastri statue. This beautiful bust is placed on a pink granite pedestal and was sculpted by an Uzbek sculptor named Yakov Shapiro.
We then went for an early lunch at Raj Kapoor restaurant in Le Grande Plaza. After that, we were on our way to visit the Memorial/Museum of the victims of political repression. This memorial is situated on a territory where thousands of people were executed.
It is located right opposite the Tashkent Tv tower. The beautiful landscape with vast gardens and a pristine blue-green canal will almost take our minds off of the sad history.
I’m disappointed that I couldn’t go inside the museum to learn a bit more about the grim history.
Next stop was the Independence square. It is probably the largest square in Tashkent. It houses several memorials, monuments and beautiful fountains(though most of the fountains were dry and not functioning)
The World War 2 memorial that’s in the same area as the Independence square was constructed in memory of the 400,000 Uzbek soldiers who lost their lives during World War 2.
A few meters ahead stands a statue of a Weeping mother and an eternal flame. This statue represents all mothers whose sons did not return home from the war.
It looks down mournfully onto a flame that burns in memory of all the fallen sons.
The final stop for the day was a beautiful man-made waterfall with an open-air dining area(its the water from the canals that run across Tashkent).
We were back at the hotel around 4 because we wanted to rest for sometime before we left for dinner at Le Grande Plaza. I was off to bed quite early that night because I had to wake up very early the next morning.
WHAT FASCINATED ME?
I noticed that almost all the tree trunks in Tashkent were painted white. I’ve never seen that before. But when I researched about it, I found that they do it to protect the trunks from the harsh sunlight and to keep bugs off the trunks.
- Make sure to declare every valuable item you own when entering the country. (money, ornaments, camera etc)
- If you are planning to travel to Tashkent during winter or autumn make sure to wear appropriate winter wear. (thermals, parka, gloves, scarves, socks, sweaters, beanies)
- The temperatures drop very low during the mornings and evenings. So, make sure to carry warm clothing if you plan to go out for the day and return only in the night.
- During fall and winter, it starts getting very dark very early in the day. So plan your days’ activities accordingly.
- Autumn is the best time to visit as the temperatures are bearable. Since the harvest season is in full swing it is the best time to get the freshest produce of fruits and nuts.
- When it comes to clothing, Tashkent is very liberal.
- Almost all the waterparks and recreational activities are shut down during fall/winter months. So try and not include them in your travel itinerary.
- It’s very easy to find transportation in Tashkent. You can easily flag down a shared taxi and be on your way. But be wary of the prices they might charge you as a foreigner. It’s always a good idea to ask the hotel reception for an estimate.