Fergana Road Trip

The weekend before last, I marked one year since my arrival in Uzbekistan. To celebrate, I took a road trip with friends and colleagues through the Fergana Valley and visited a museum/palace, a local ceramics workshop, and a silk-producing factory.

In just two days, thanks to the well-organized and efficient CLO (Community Liaison Office) who led the trip, we managed to log 425 miles and over 18 hours of driving through the rugged and unpredictable terrain.

For context…

On the way there, I enjoyed the foreboding landscape with a pioneering spirit, but everyone in our caravan refrained from some of the crazier stunts we observed local drivers pulling.

IMG_4621

Headed in the general direction of Kyrgyzstan…

IMG_4624

These barriers are NOT uniformly spaced, as I realized when I saw someone else try to pass an 18-wheeler uphill against oncoming traffic…

A few hours into our trip we stopped in Kokand. We had a picnic breakfast, and then stopped by the palace of the last ruler of the Kokand Khanate. This complex which is now a museum of khanate history is said to have been built by more than sixteen thousand men and completed in 1871.

IMG_4625

Khudoyar Khan Palace

IMG_4626

The inside was simply marvelous. I am always dumbfounded by how someone could start with a white wall, and end up with this:

IMG_4629

Our guide told us that the artists tried to emulate the spines of books on a shelf with their designs in order to encourage children to read before bed. I have no idea if this is true, but it’s a nice story, and it’s what I understood.IMG_4630

IMG_4637

One of my colleagues dubbed this display “Genghis Khan Black Ops Team”

A bit further down the road in Rishtan, we made a lunch and shopping trip to Rustam Usmanov’s very high-quality ceramics workshop, where we had a chance to see ceramic dishes, bowls and vases being made from beginning to end, including the incredibly intricate painting and firing process.

IMG_4646

IMG_4654

Oblivious to the haggling

IMG_4655

After a somewhat restful evening at the Hotel Asia, which I am told is the only actual hotel in Fergana, we headed back west and stopped in Margilan at the Yodgorlik silk factory. I had absolutely no idea how time and labor-intensive the process of extracting, processing and dying silk was, and how many steps there were. If you have a chance to visit this place, I highly recommend it. Our tour guide was very fluent in English and was well able to articulate the details involved with this trade and its role in Silk Road history.

IMG_4669

The average life span of a silkworm is three weeks

IMG_4679

You don’t want to know how the dead silkworms smell after being unraveled from their cocoons. Although after they’ve produced a half mile of silk, I’d argue they’re entitled.

IMG_4692IMG_4693IMG_4695

IMG_4705

No pavement required; signage appreciated

IMG_4707

Only a few more hours home to Tashkent

IMG_4712

Approaching Tashkent city limits…LOL

My treasures from the weekend

I carried extra fuel on the trip, but fortunately we did find a gas station that had gas available, albeit 80 octane (sorry, Hilde). It was great to come home to a yard full of stray grazing sheep and the knowledge that no one got hurt or lost on our trip.

If you have an opportunity to visit this beautiful part of Uzbekistan, I highly recommend it!

  5 comments for “Fergana Road Trip

  1. June 1, 2016 at 15:21

    Gorgeous photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. June 7, 2016 at 22:47

    wonderful post and pictures

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Bembes Abroad

Two People, Two Dogs...One New Country

Sending Postcards Home!

From travels around the world, with love..

Kelsey Schmitt

Travel & Lifestyle

Nomads By Nature: The Adventures Continue

We are a foreign service family currently posted in Windhoek, Namibia!!

Adventures Abroad

tales from a life abroad.

Texpatica

Ramblings about the life of a Texpat.

Emma & Nathan's Travels

Our worldwide travels in 2017

Diplomatic Baggage

Perspectives of a Trailing Spouse, etc.

A Foot in Each World

Life, love, education, and adventure from post to post.

Culture Shock

Staying in the Honeymoon Phase

I'm here for the cookies

A trailing husband's vain search for cookies in an unjust world

Caitlin Jean Russell

Travel Tips, Photographs and Experiences

The Good Things Coming

A blog about people, places, and things

The Blog of Travel

Motorbikes, dogs and a lot of traveling.

traveled.life/

A Traveled Life

The Trailing Spouse

My life as a trailing husband of a Foreign Service Officer

In-Flight Movie

Our Adventures in the Foreign Service

Audrey is (a)Broad

Things I do and see while living and traveling outside the USA

ficklomat

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” -Cloud Atlas

PM Adventures

pmadventures.com - Travel & Life Abroad

Robin T. photo

Travel and photography

Cuddle Your Globe

Travel tips for beating the track and beyond from a travel expert who loves to hug the globe

mypassengerdiaries

travel and adventure

globetrottingteen

If travel is an addiction, I'm afflicted.

According to Athena

Our adventures in the Foreign Service with our dog, Athena

Diplomatic Status

Tales from My Foreign Service Life

Kids with Diplomatic Immunity

Chasing two kids around the globe

Unaccompanied Baggage

Unpacking the best U.S. Foreign Service blogs

In Search of the End of the Sidewalk

Musings about books, baggage and a bit more

The Wanderlust Diaries

A fine WordPress.com site

Eine Diplomatin aus Texas

Adventures of a Foreign Service Officer in training

The NicAdventure

Stories from a Peace Corps couple in the jungle

Everywhere is My Destination

A Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean & Travel Blog by Kate

Jenni Goes Global

our life abroad

Well, That Was Different

Travel Stories, Expatriate Life, Undiplomatic Commentary and Some Pretty Good Photos

a B, C, D Adventure

Life in the Foreign Service

Om Nom Culture

by Blake Bergen Photography

Adventures

in the Foreign Service

%d bloggers like this: