Say what you will about Social Media, one thing that it’s done (well) is to open our eyes and minds to places that we may not have heard of, or perhaps have heard of but have not seen. Even if you consider yourself well-travelled, you can be sure that you’ve probably just scratched the earth’s surface.
With the changes that happened in the USSR in the 1980’s, what were once hidden gems have now become more visible, accessible and desireable. Places like Tashkent.
The capital city of Uzbekistan, it is an ancient city on the Great Silk Road from China to Europe. Little remains of the ancient city after the 1966 earthquake and earlier modernisation work following the 1917 revolution. Tashkent is a very Soviet city that has little remaining from its ancient Central Asian past. The city has a mixture of modern new office buildings, hotels, parks and crumbling Soviet style apartment blocks. The streets are generally clean and there are not too many potholes in the city center. Further out, the infrastructure is not so good.
With a population of more than two million. The ancient city has prospered due to its position on the Great Silk Road, which brought goods from China to Europe. Tashkent was extensively rebuilt following a major earthquake in 1917, and today, it is a modern, exciting city, with many faces.
If you’re able, find Joanna Lumley’s travel videos on YouTube and elsewhere. She is in love with the world, and the world of travel. Funny, honest, unpretentious and warm. See an example, below.