I had one final day to explore the city before getting back to work, so decided to use it to see Tashkent. I’d read that there wasn’t a whole lot to see, but I picked some of the higher rated attractions on TripAdvisor, made a loose plan, and set out on foot to explore. I decided to use the Metro to get around, since my hotel seemed to be halfway between two stations, approximately a 10 minute walk from each.
First, the view of the telecom tower outside my hotel window. This was actually highly rated as something to see, but I ran out of time.
Walking to the metro, I passed a bit of Gagnam…I mean Optical Style. Even in Uzbekistan…
First stop was Amir Timur square. Remember him from yesterday? I saw his mausoleum in Samarkand. He’s kinda a big deal in Uzbekistan. On the square sits the fabulously Soviet Hotel Uzbekistan, a monument to “bigger and plainer is better.”
Right next door was the Congress:
Continuing around the square, the next two sites were the old clock tower and the new clock tower. Very similar, I honestly don’t remember which one this is. I remember one had really poor lighting and I couldn’t get a good pic. Not that this one was a whole lot better, but…
In the centre of the square was, you guessed it, yet another monument to Timur himself. It took me nearly 30 minutes to get these shots, since it seemed half of Uzbekistan was there, and very pushy with the picture taking. It was fine, because I was still pretty tired from the long day the day before so I was in no rush. It was a pretty cool statue though…
Of course, monuments everywhere aren’t enough. He needs his own museum too! (and coincidentally, the local metro stop was named for him too.)
It took me a while to find the entrance, and honestly one in it wasn’t all that. It was only a couple dollars though, and a bit cooler than outside which had rapidly risen past 35C, so it was a nice break. Plus, it had some great murals!
My rough plan from this point had been to get back on the metro and go and see the bazaar and the mosque which were several stops away, but they didn’t look that far on the map, and there seemed to be a few things to see along the way, so I decided to keep walking.
I headed down Saligokh Street, also known as “Broadway.” Supposedly this used to be a very lively street somewhat like Moscow’s Arbat, but lately the police have been cracking down on street sellers, etc, and now it was more parks and such. Plus, it even had a small pond with swans!
Continuing down “Broadway” I passed a building with lots of cameras and police outside. I pulled out my iPhone to look at the map, and quickly got screamed at by some of the guards…so had to walk away without a pic. Turns out it was the headquarters of the State Security Service (successor to the KGB) so that probably explains it, lolz. However, just across the street was the wonderfully-named “Palace of Youth Creativity.”
Wandered next down a small reflecting pool:
The pool ended at Mustakillik Square, aka Independence Square with the Independence Monument. Managed to get a couple of pretty cool shots of it:
There was also a large government building on the side of the square, which I believe was the senate:
Right next to this was the World War II memorial, with the eternal flame and names of those who died in the war.
At this point, I decided I’d walked so far it didn’t matter how tired or sunburnt I was feeling, I decided to continue on on foot. I crossed a small river/canal which had all sorts of local teens swimming and diving in, in nothing but their underwear. One eventually even jumped off the bridge – maybe 20 feet high, and lived…
Next up was a museum next to the old tv tower. I didn’t get the details on the museum, but thought it was pretty photogenic.
I walked maybe 30 more minutes from here, eventually coming to the Hazrat Imam mosque complex. I took some time here since the sun was slowly beginning to set to wander around, take pictures, and just take in the peace of the place. Definitely some amazing architecture. The main entrance:
Just outside, there were a bunch of locals playing in a fountain:
From here, I wandered a bit more until I came to the Chorsu Bazaar. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. I read lots of things online that said it was pretty cool, but either I’ve seen too many bazaars by this point or I hit it at an off day/time, because I was seriously underwhelmed by it. I wandered around for maybe 30 minutes before giving up and catching the subway back to my hotel. Caught dinner at a small restaurant near my hotel, and called it an early night. Two full days of playing tourist wore me out, and it was back to work the next day!