Changing $100 into Uzbeki 'cym' gives you this much cash. The largest denomination note is 1000 cym which is worth about $1.80 so when 3 beers cost 12,000 sum it doesn't take much to require a large wad of cash. A normal sized wallet is no use here!
'Karambek' in Samarkand where we ate plov for the first time. If vodka is the national drink of Uzbekistan, then plov is the national dish. It's like a pilau consisting of rice with vegetables, usually carrots, with chunks of meat on top.
Gur-e Amir, the tomb of Amir Tamir who was better known in the West as Tamerlane, 'The Terror of the World'. Born in Shahrisabz, about 50kms from Samarkand he went on to command a huge empire.
Inside the tomb of Tamerlane.
The entrance to the tomb of Tamerlane.
Round the back of Tamerlane's tomb.
Inlay work at Gur-e Amir.
Tamerlane lies beneath a glorious dome, his grave marked by a black-green slab of marble, surrounded by the graves of various of his teachers and several of his sons. The tombstones are markers for the actual graves which lie in exactly the same layout in the crypt underneath.
Part of the magnificent ceiling nside Gur-e Amir.
A chandalier nside Gur-e Amir..
Wall decoration inside Gur-e Amir
Close up of tilework in Gur-e Amir.
Done of Gur-e Amir in Samarkand.
Archway at Tamerlane's tomb.
Working to keep the area spotless. These brooms were everywhere.
The Registan Complex, the most famous of Samarkand's treasures. Made up of 3 huge madrassah (schools) construction of the first madrassa was began in 1417 by Tamerlane's grandson.
In the middle Tillya Kari with magnificent mosaics covering every wall in floral and geometric patterns. Construction of the Tillya Kari started in 1646. On the right is Shir Dor Madrassa which is almost a mirror image of the Uleg Beg madrassa. The Shir Dor is notable for the depiction in mosaic tiles of lions and suns with human faces above its main entry.
Dome of Tillya Kari.
Student rooms in Tillya Kari.
The Registan, Samarkand.
Minaret at the Registan.
A display of Uzbeki musical instruments.
Student rooms, unused for decades, at the Registan.
Minbar inside Tillya Kari