Along the Old Silk Road...

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We long wanted to visit the fabled cities along the Silk Road. The lure of days gone by. The caravans, the seraias, the people, the architecture and the science that originated in those sand swept plains and the green and rugged mountain regions.
We visited these places recently. My wife, Ayesha, split up as she is more of an adventurer type to wander amongst the mountains and valleys.

What memories did we bring back? First and foremost, the friendliness and generosity of the people. The architecture across the region..second to none. The history..from mathematics, to medicine to literature...
AlKhoarizmi, to name one, was born here. The latinized ' Algorithm ' is a tribute to this man. We walked the same streets he walked on. The schools he taught in....history along the streets.

The images are with the Nikon Df, 50/85 f1.8G and/or the Fuji X-H1 and the 18-55mm. The images are a combinations of Ayesha's and my efforts at photography.

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Rolf, thank you sir.

Butlerkid, indeed the Silk Road was ( and covers a large area and numerous countries )..
This part of the trip covered the following countries:

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The ones marked in green. The image was made in Uzbekistan..where I based myself, while my wife traveled by air, car and hiking across some others.
I mostly took a flight to join her.
 
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Bohdan, Alex,Butlerkid..thanks.
Alex, I shall try my best to include details, but I am linking from my hosting site where I have stored the images for web minus exif. I shall try to get to the archives whenever possible.

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Samarkand...Df, most probably 50/1.8G ( since I cannot handhold at these speeds!!)...my widest is mostly a 50mm. Only in very rare instances I go ultra wide with a 35mm!!

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Df, 85/1.8G,f2.8,1/80,800, -0.33, Uzbekistan.
 
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Let me talk about the Taj Mahal..In Agra, India.
Why do I bring this up here? Shah Jahan, the one who ordered the Taj Mahal to be built during the Moghul reign in the Indo-Pak sub-continent was the descendant of the first Moghul emperor in India.
The first Moghul emperor was Babar..he hailed from Uzbekistan. I will show his birthplace later on.
Thus the design of the Taj Mahal borrows heavily from, and influenced by the architecture of Central Asia at that time.
This includes Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Turkey.

The cross pollination of cultures extends into Mongolia, Russia and the western parts of the PRC.
It extends even to Europe..as I shall show in the 2 images below...

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Df,50/1.8,1/1600,200

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Leica ME, 35/2 asph,1/125, 320

This image ( above ) was made in Tbilisi, Georgia ( the country ).
Notice the mosque architecture on the right...

Just to add..there is no 1 silk road like I-95 along the east coast of the U.S.
There were many silk roads crossing continents and countries along many different routes.
 

Butlerkid

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Your images are fascinating.....showing me areas I would love to visit....but probably never will. When you get a chance, tell us a little bit about how easy or difficult travel is in these countries, did you plan the trip yourself and are you traveling with guides, is safety more of issue than that in European countries, etc?
 
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Eric, Butlerkid..thanks.
I shall write a few notes shortly on the trip..

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Fuji X-H1, XF 18-55mm
 
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Along the way in Turkmenistan.
Fuji X-H1, 18-55mm ( the only lens my wife carried ).
 
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Khiva. The old city. Along its streets walked and taught a man... the nature of Algorithms.
A World Heritage Site.
X-H1
 
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We have left the plains.
The mountain region of Kazakhstan.
X-H1
 
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Alvin, Phil...thank you for stopping by.

Ending this thread, let me address a few questions asked of us here and back home.

- Safety. Very safe to travel in groups or as a single. Irrespective of gender
- Visas. Except for Turkmenistan, we had no issues.
- Culture. Muslim countries. Very tolerant of aliens. Modernizing fast.
- Transport. Getting better. Tourist infrastructure developing fast.
- Health services. Adequate in most cities, less so in rural areas.
-Economy. Developing very fast after the Soviet withdrawal.
- Kazakhstan. Oil rich. As big or bigger than Europe. Modern.
- People. The most hospitable, helpful and friendly people one shall meet.
- History. A history of various civilizations before your eyes.
- Food. In one word..Glorious.
- Architecture. Unbelievable.

Thank you.
 
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These are fascinating photos which I am enjoying very much. Great job getting the girls to smile for you and getting an excellent photo.

Like Karen (Butlerkid) I would love to visit this area. Alas, my spouse has no interest and I can't travel without her.
 

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