Today we cross into “Tajikistan” which is new country so another one to tick off, The border is long and tedious especially as the customs people decide to stop after processing half of us and go for lunch. Doh!!!
We decide to just sit and eat our nuts and fruit (from the market the other day remember) we strike up a bried aquaintance with a young girl from South Korea who is touring on her own and using public transport to get around, she tells us she went to Afghanistan and Iran a month or so back, she picked up a visa at the border. Have to say she is a plucky soul and we wish her well although she has already surpassed anything I will ever get up to.
Once finished we are off to see another Fort and Madrassa complex. The Hissar Fortress and the Khona Madrassa. Now there are many fortress-related legends which are supported by local residents. On one of them runs that the fortress was built by Afrosiab for the purpose of protection from Rustam’s armies (remember the word “afrosiab” the original town which became Samarkand the other day). The fortress-citadel consists of three parts and is located on the natural hill and dates from the epoch of Timur and Timurids and was considered as the center of Eastern Bukhara, where the representative of Tsar dynasty (son or brother of Bukhara Ruler) was in reign.(Tsar now where have we heard that word before)
We are told that this particular Fortress was captured 23 times which make it a very bad fort, surely the purpose is to repel invaders.
If they got beaten 23 times I think maybe they need to improve the lock on the gates.
Now we are off to Dushanbe capitol of Tajikistan and from what we see on the way in it is mostly a Russian style town.
We are shown some of their main sights however as this is not particularly rich with the gas / oil of the other “Stan’s” but I am sure it will come soon.
They still have a few brand new buildings to show off even if you can not actually get close to them.
they do appear to have the worlds tallest flag pole but for some reason not the highest as there is one in Uzbekistan which though shorter is on higher ground.
And the pollution to go with it which is caused by their use of coal as a fuel as well as the cars which they drive without any regard for road rules.
Tomorrow we are off to yet another market but they are so colourful (colorful) that I don’t care they are a great place for photos.