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Elaine and Peter’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 12 Oct 2016

Location: Bukhara, Uzbekistan

MapA long day today.

We had quite an arduous drive to Bukhara today. The road was very poor but there is a super duper highway being constructed along the way. The road follows the River Amu Darya which is the border between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The must be some cooperation between the countries as there is evidence of a gas pipeline being constructed from Turkmenistan to Russian.
We stopped for a picnic lunch at a very iffy place, the toilets ...oh dear!

The road passed through the desert, flat and scrubland!

So we learnt a lot about the country from our excellent guide.

This is a multi ethnic country built up from the many nomadic tribes who used the Silk Road.
Many of the traditions are still family is very important to each tribe....marriage is quite a strenuous ritual for example.
.....the belief is that to marry is for life and it is a very serious business. Hundreds of people are invited to the several wedding feasts. The key is to get the right match. In soviet times, military men were said to be the best husbands.
Today marriages are made by choice. The females meet the bride and her family first. The bride to be serves the tea and is seen only once.
Then comes an official engagement followed by three receptions for 200 to 800 guests: one is paid by the bride's family, one by the groom and one by the family.
The celebrations can last for up to a month.
Then before they enter the marital home, they must walk three times round a bonfire, and each thro an apple. How far it goes is how long the marriage will last.
And more to come. The bride and groom change into traditional dress. To receive gifts and have photos take. Following this comes the chiller period of 40 days when the bride cannot leave the home and the groom must come home before sunset.
Within a year a bay is expected to be born followed of course by a big party.

After such lengthy stories, we arrived in Bukhara which looks lovely.
We have just had time for dinner in a fabulous place. A museum by a man called Favzullo Xojaev has been part converted into a superb restaurant. We were met in the courtyard by a group of musicians brilliantly playing a sort of post horn as a welcome. The meal was accompanied by an excellent string quartet, whilst the half a flaming lamb was carried into be carved.
An excellent end to the day.

And so to bed......apologies for the length of the blogs and errors which I will correct at a later day.