UZBEKISTAN – Elliq-Qala (Kala) – “Fifty Forts”. Ayez Qala Yurt Camp.
From Khiva to Bukhara From Almaty UZEBEKISTAN Tashkent
The Great Game – Stoddart and Connolly.Buhkara is the city where the Charles Stoddart and Arthur Conollymet their ends during the Great Game between Russia and theBritish Empire.Stoddart had been sent to Bukhara to persuade the Emir to allywith Queen Victoria rather than Tsar Nicholas I of Russia andreassure the Emir on Britain’s invasion of Afghanistan.He took offence when Stoddart, “unschooled in the sycophanticways of Oriental diplomacy”, failed to dismount from his horse andhad him thrown him into the Bug Pit.In 1841 the British sent Conolly, of the Bengal Light Infantry, torescue him but assuming him to be part of a British plot, thr Emirhad him dumped into the Bug Pit with Stoddart.With the defeat of the British in Afghanistan in1842 the Emir sawno reason to keep Stoddart and Connolly and after being forced todig their own grave both were beheaded.
UZBEKISTAN – Bukhara. The Ark ( citadel), built in 5th century. Rain damage on theleft caused wall to collapse.
UZBEKISTAN – Bukhara. City walls. Inside the old walls over 500monuments still standing.
Turkmenistan’s President #11992, Niyazov “elected”; he was theonly candidate.He declared himself "Türkmenbaşy," or"Leader of all Turkmen.“Niyazov made a personal attempt tocreate a cultural background for the newstate of Turkmenistan by writing andpromoting the Ruhnama.He renamed the town Krasnovodsk "Turkmenbashi" after himself.He introduced a new Latin-basedTurkmen alphabet to replace RussianCyrillic.Despite emphasizing a need to movefrom central planning to a marketeconomy and to a full democracy duringhis reign neither plan progressedDeclared himself "President for Life”.His call: “People, Nation, Me”.Died in 2006.
Turkmenistan’s President #2In 2007 GurbangulyBerdymikhammedove won with 97% ofthe vote, beating seven tokencompetitors all from the same – andonly party, the Democratic Party ofTurkmenistan.Rumored he was Niyazov’s illegitimateson.Repealed ban on ballet and listeningto music in cars.Replealed the naming on the monthsafter Niyazov’s family members.Foreign policy and neutrality remain.Personality cult continues.
Turkmenistan – In transit from Uzbek border to Merv. Because a bus had rolledoff this pontoon bridge into the water, we had to get out and walk across.
Turkmenistan - Merv. The Greater Kyz. Merv once known as “Queen of theWorld”. Peaked during 11th and 12 centuries. A Unesco World Heritage Site.
Turkmenistan - Merv. Inside the Little Kyz. Fluted walls thought to be designed todeflect the wind.