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Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan Photo Tour

6,950 US$13 Mar 2022

An intense photographic tour across Uzbekistan, starting from Turkmenistan and its famous " Hell's Gate ". A trip with a plethora of photographic opportunities, mausoleums, minarets and walled enclosures . We will be interacting with the local population and capture with our camera the atmosphere of this incredible culture.

The date has been chosen to coincide with a Kupkari game on the Navruz festivities. A traditional tournament on horseback in which riders compete for the carcass of a goat and get it into the opponent's goal. It is an exceptional spectacle and one that very few westerners have been able to witness.

HIGHLIGHTS

 

- Turkmenistan and its famous " Hell's Gate "


- Samarkand the Kupkari tournament on the Navrus festivities.A traditional contest on horseback

 
- Tiny alleyways, mosques, minarets, madrassas


- The Karakum desert, the Erbent desert community on the way.

 
- Nurata, a village where pilgrims from all across Uzbekistan come to drink from the mystical spring of Chashma.

 
- Tashkent and the Soviet-style Metro

 

An intense photographic tour across Uzbekistan, starting from Turkmenistan and its famous " Hell's Gate ". A trip with a plethora of photographic opportunities, mausoleums, minarets and walled enclosures. We will be interacting with the local population and capture with our camera the atmosphere of this incredible culture.

The date has been chosen to coincide with a Kupkari game on the Navruz festivities. A traditional tournament on horseback in which riders compete for the carcass of a goat and get it into the opponent's goal. It is an exceptional spectacle and one that very few westerners have been able to witness.

According to the global law and order report 2020, Uzbekistan is ranked as the 10th safest nation in the world ahead of countries such as Canada and Germany itself.

A photo tour to Uzbekistan is a trip to the heart of the Silk Road, the most appealing of the Central Asian republics, once in the Soviet orbit and now a country of tolerant practices with the vast majority of its inhabitants professing the Muslim faith.

Uzbekistan has always stood out for its cultural heritage, the result of a historical trajectory that includes everything from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, and for its trade vocation. For centuries, the Silk Road served as a highway along which not only goods traveled and were later exhibited at the fairs and markets of Venice or Seville, but also culture, as evidenced by the appearance of doctors such as Avicenna.

In addition to the mausoleums, minarets and walled enclosures that punctuate the circuit, there are claims that can hardly leave indifferent. The Chorsu Bazaar and the Kudeldash Madrasa, in Tashkent, contrast with the ultramodern metro, with stations that have nothing to envy to those of Moscow.

In Samarkand, the Ulugbek astronomical observatory and Reguistan Square, the most fabulous square in Central Asia, a crossroads of roads and madrasas. In Shakhrisyabz -like the previous one, a World Heritage Site-, Tamerlane's summer palace and his family's funerary complexes.

In Bukhara, the medieval city and bazaars are dominated by turquoise domes and madrasas such as Nodir Devan Begi offer dance performances. And Khiva, two cities enclosed within as many concentric rings, the most spectacular of which is a brick wall, which houses palaces, minarets and mosaics, and which is of all the cities that best preserves its ancient flavor.

My trip with Harry was an experience beyond anything I could imagine. The locations and itinerary are extremely well thought out and organized to maximize your photographic opportunities. Harry’s advice and approaches to evaluating a scene and working your subject were invaluable. It took me outside of my comfort zone culturally and technically and as a result, I returned with some of the most dramatic and moody photographs in my collection.

 

Mike Benford United States



ITINERARY

 

13 March.- ASHGABAT

Our representative will be meeting you on arrival. Transfer to hotel.

Depending on your time of arrival we will conduct a photo tour, with visits of Ertogrul Gazy Mosque, Independence Park, Neutrality Arch, National Museum, Nissa (UNESCO) and Turkmenbashi Mosque-Mausoleum.

 

14 March.- ASHGABAT/DARWAZA

Transfer to Darwaza in the Karakum desert, visit Erbent desert community on the way. Set up camp. Camp dinner and overnight in tent.

 

15 March "Shavat" border - Khiva program

We'll be crossing the Turkmen-Uzbek border. After arriving in Khiva, our accommodation is located within the Ichan-Kala fortress, which was the first site in Uzbekistan and Central Asia to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Khiva is home to 54 massive historical structures and 250 historic residences. It would be an unforgettable experience.

If time allows we will start visiting the city before dinner.

Dinner in the national mansion Zarafshan will include the khan's specialty Tukhum-Barak.

 

16 March .- Khiva

We'll be out early in the morning strolling and photographing the historic city of Khiva, with its tiny alleyways, mosques, minarets, and an old graveyard set against the city walls.

The day in Khiva concludes with a folk show and dinner at Khiva Khan Toza Bog's summer home.

 

17 March .- Khiva – Bukhara.

Drive through the Kyzylkum desert to Bukhara after a great breakfast at the hotel. Stop along the way to photograph the breathtaking beauty of the Amu Darya River. Arrive in the late afternoon in the long-awaited Bukhara. After settling into a comfortable hotel, we'll take an evening picture stroll through the tiny but charming streets of the old town. 

We'll have dinner in the Lyabi-Hauz national teahouse at the end of the day. What could be better than being outside, on the bank of an ancient reservoir, in the shade of age-old trees, smelling delicious food?

 

18 March .- Bukhara.

After breakfast, we'll embark on a fascinating tour of Bukhara's sites. Spectacular ancient mosques, mausoleums, and synagogues, a historic necropolis, dusty backstreets, dilapidated buildings, and a magnificent early Soviet wrought-iron water tower are among the treasures. 

Bukhara has a number of well-preserved walls and gates, and you may see these ancient landmarks during the tour program. We'll also go to the Kosh Madrasah, which consists of two Abdullah Khan and Modar-i-Khan madrasahs, the Poi-Kalon ensemble, and a visit to one of the working madrasahs, one of the most prominent Islamic educational institutions in the post-Soviet environment.

We'll stop by a teahouse for a cup of green tea and to take in the atmosphere.

The picture trip in Bukhara will conclude with a visit to the synagogue, followed by a meal and a master instruction on how to make Bukhara pilaf.

 

March 19th. Drive to the yurt camp and Nurata.

After breakfast, we'll drive to a desert yurt camp where we'll be able to see the Milky Way in the evening. Visit the Chor Bakr necropolis, one of Uzbekistan's biggest architectural groupings, before leaving Bukhara.

We'll stop in Nurata, a village where pilgrims from all across Uzbekistan come to drink from the mystical spring of Chashma. It is a well-known place of pilgrimage for Muslims and one of the region's most important Islamic religious centers.

The day will not be complete without a camel ride and an incredible meal accompanied by Kazakh akyn songs and folklore under the Milky Way's sky. In a nomadic yurt for the night.

 

March 20th .- Yurt camp - Aydarkul Lake – Samarkand.

Breakfast in the yurt camp, then transfer to Lake Aydarkul, where we may fish, wander along the shore and watch birds, and swim in a clean, calm desert lake. Transfer to Samarkand after a picnic lunch. Arrival in Samarkand and lodging in a comfortable hotel. Drive to the Khujum silk factory and Konigil village for a tour to a paper mill and dinner with the craftsmen after a brief break.

 

March 21st.- Samarkand -Kupkari Games

After breakfast at the hotel, depart for Urgut, where Kupkari and other  celebrations in honor of Navruz will take place. We'll get a fantastic chance to watch the Kupkari game and shoot some amazing photographs.

Following our participation in Kupkari, we will return to Samarkand to wander through the venues for concerts, fairs, and sporting activities.

Following the Navruz celebrations, an excursion tour of Samarkand will be conducted, including a visit to Registan Square, where we will be treated to a spectacular view of the three stately madrasahs of Ulugbek, Sherdor, and Tili-Kori. Visit the neighboring Rukhabad and Aksaray mausoleums as well as the Gur-Emir mausoleum. Today's dinner at the Novy Arbat restaurant in Samarkand will feature oven-cooked mutton.

With gorgeous blue tiled walls as a backdrop, photographing the pilgrims is a dream come true. We'll then proceed to Registan Square, which is a genuine gem in the heart of the old city and consists of three picturesque madrassahs, or schools. In the blue hour again, we'll photograph Registan Square for some of the best architecture photography you've ever seen.

Our next destination will be a little town with a workshop that makes traditional silk paper from mulberry tree bark. It's a beautiful location where we can capture people engaged in the papermaking process. We will visit and photograph the Gur Amir Mausoleum in the late afternoon.

 

22 March .- Samarkand – Tashkent.

After breakfast, the photo tour of Samarkand continues with a visit to Tamerlane's wife's Bibi Khanum Mosque, the Siab bazaar, the Shakhi-Zinda ensemble, where we'll be able to capture some interesting photos. Visit the St. Daniel Mausoleum, which is respected by Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike.

Transfer to the station after the end of the excursion program in Samarkand and departure by Afrasiab train to Tashkent.

Phot Session in the magnificient subway with stops at the Cosmonauts, Alisher Navoi, and Pakhtakor stations, as well as a visit to the Alisher Navoi Theater.

 

Tashkent, 23 March

Transfer to the airport for our return trip home after breakfast.



Prices per person
10 Participants 6950 US$


Supplements
Single Room Supplement Main Trip 350 US$


WHAT'S INCLUDED

The maximum number of participants is listed under "Maximum Group" in the Price section of each individual workshop. However, we reserve the right to add by up to two the maximum number of participants per workshop at any time.

 

Included

 

  • The trip will be led by Harry Fisch. In the event that he is unable to do so for any reason, Roberto Pazzi will lead the trip.
  • 11 days 10 nights accommodations
  • All meals except two on your own
  • All inland transfers 
  • Airport pick-up and transfer
  • Hotel pick-up and transfer to airport
  • English speaking guide

 

Not Included

 

  • International Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for the guides 
  • Personal expenses
  • Extras at the hotels, minibar, massage
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks.

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. A limited quantity of single-occupancy rooms are available for an additional charge.

 

 

DEPOSIT

 

A deposit of $1,000 per person is required to guarantee your reservation, which will be applied toward the cost of your tour. Full payment due 91 days before departure. 

No financial risk if you cancel 91 days or more before departure. Combined with a cancelation insurance you can cover 100% of the cost in case of cancellation.  (Please refer to Cancellation Policy).  

 

 

FITNESS LEVEL, TRAVEL CONDITIONS:  

 

Moderate level of fitness is required. You will need to be able to walk for a few hours -most of the time while you take pictures - at a gentle pace, remain standing, get on and off coaches, planes and trains unassisted.