Trains, Textiles and Travel on the Silk Road
A pair of MIR clients whose wide-ranging interests include textiles and old trains took a trip to the core of the Silk Road on a custom-tailored private itinerary, Essential Uzbekistan. They traveled from the capital, Tashkent, through the Silk Road oases of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva, with a detour into the desert to visit a small museum filled with forbidden (read “decadent”) art rescued from the Soviets.
One of the travelers – M. Welmers – kept a wonderful travel journal of their experiences and shared them with us. Since she is an accomplished writer as well as an expert on textile art, this story goes much further than the usual “Woke up at 8 and had breakfast” travel journal.
She writes about her life-long search for an experience close to what the 19th and early 20th century British explorers described in their reports from the exotic East. Her travel life has been…
… a long and fascinating quest. A never-ending quest, I hope. But I think I’ve finally found the last outpost of the Victorian dream of The East – in Central Asia, where I would never have thought to look.
M.W.’s sharp eye misses nothing along the way, and she observes life in Central Asia with the curiosity, compassion and equanimity of a seasoned traveler. When they finally arrive in the old town of Khiva, the last Silk Road oasis on their itinerary, she is elated.
Finally, finally, finally I had found it: a desert city redolent of the past.
Our first action was to walk across the empty street and through the gate back into time. The streets (alleys, really) were hard-packed dirt, narrow and winding among mud-coated houses. Because the Juma minaret is the tallest building in the province, we had no trouble threading our way into the center of the town. There we found paved walkways, mosques, madrassas, and small shops selling endless wares. We walked around in the slanting golden sunlight, easily imagining that the town had not changed for six hundred years.
You can read about M.W.’s quest in her travel journal. I highly recommend it.
Travel to Uzbekistan with MIR
Whether you want to visit the bazaars, wander the streets of Old Town Khiva, or get out of town to explore its remote parks, Uzbekistan is a remarkable destination that retains much of its historic appeal.
MIR has more than 30 years of travel experience in Central Asia and has an affiliate office in Uzbekistan, with a roster of contacts that can take you to places that you didn’t even know you wanted to go. Our full service, dedication, commitment to quality, and destination expertise have twice earned us a place on National Geographic Adventure’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”
Experience the brilliant country of Uzbekistan for yourself on one of these MIR itineraries that travel to Central Asia:
SMALL GROUP TOURS
- Silk Road Backroads & Byways
- Journey Through Central Asia: The Five ‘Stans
- Silk Route Odyssey: Caravan Across Uzbekistan
- Backstreets & Bazaars of Uzbekistan
- Dance Tour Through Uzbekistan
RAIL JOURNEYS BY PRIVATE TRAIN
- Republics of the Silk Road by Private Train – New for 2020!
- The Silk Route by Private Train: Westbound
- Essence of the Silk Road by Private Train (Eastbound / Westbound)
- Essence of the Silk Road & Beyond by Private Train
- Caspian Odyssey by Private Train
A PERSONALIZED PRIVATE TRIP
MIR specializes in personalized, private journeys, and we’d love to take your ideas and weave them into a trip tailored especially for you. Travel wherever, however, and with whomever you like, relying on our expert assistance. Contact us to find out more about our custom and private travel expertise – each trip handcrafted to your interests, dates and pace.
Chat with a MIR destination specialist about travel to Uzbekistan by phone (1-800-424-7289) or email today. We’d love to take your ideas and weave them into a trip tailored especially for you.
(Top photo credit: M. Welmers)
PUBLISHED: November 19, 2014