Dec 092013

So, I had a weekend in Dushanbe, and the good fortune to have a seasonably unusual heatwave….highs reached 22-24C which for late November was way above normal.  The one bad thing about the Hyatt as a hotel is location.  It’s a good mile out of the edge of the main city, which means you’re more or less trapped there in the evenings.  I’ll get to the hotel a bit more later, but on Saturday I got up relatively early and ended up walking 14 miles all around Dushanbe.  It was a great day for walking, even though the sites…well not a ton to see.  I’m going to give the highlights, mainly in photo form:

Statue outside the national museum:


Entrance of the National Museum:


Another statue outside the National Museum:


Reflection of the National Museum in the lake:


The lake outside the National Museum:

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Monument to Rudaki, a poet who is is credited with early development of Tajik culture:


Rudaki, up close and personal:


Rudaki Park:


Ismoili Somoni statue, the “father” of the Tajik nation.  Incidentally, the Tajik currency, the Somoni, is named for him:


A nice stroll down Rudaki Blvd:


I’ll refrain from political commentary, other than to say presidential elections were recently held and were widely regarded as free and democratic.  Of course, the incumbent won with a very large share of the vote…and as pictures all over town remind you, he loves his citizens!


The main building of the national university:


A rather bizarre statue in a park I walked through:


Another monument outside the National Museum:


View from my hotel window, construction everywhere.  I asked several locals who was paying for all of this in such a poor country, and the answer was always the same:  the government.

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a childrens’ park:


entrance to a pedestrian underpass:


mountains not far in the distance:


National Football Stadium, just across from the Hyatt:


Borbad Hall, next to the Hyatt – not sure its function:


So, on to the hotel.  In one word, the Hyatt was perfect.  Staff was fantastic, a great fitness centre, rooms were clean, comfortable, and temperature was usually adjustable.  Facilities were great, and even the one restaurant was quite good – although the prices were severely out of line for Dushanbe.  The food, however, was great.  The bar/pub served the same menu, and I found it a much more social place to have dinner.

Plus, who can argue with a Christmas tree:



View of the giant Chaixana being built next to the Hyatt:


I toured the next day on Sunday when it rained…and it was fascinating…that is until the power went out, and an hour later when it still wasn’t back on they kicked all of us out.  LOL.  At least I saw a few things, like a replica of a Giant Buddah:

(the real thing is supposedly in storage)


The main hall of the museum:


Giant flagpole outside the museum:


…and finally, the view from my office window, with the snow covered mountains in the distance.  Not bad since I was working 12-14 hour days, but at least had the weekend to enjoy the city a bit!


Next, after nine days, it was time to head out!

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