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Pictures of our 2nd Central Asia trip 2016 to Tajikistan
– Part 1 – From Uzbekistan border to Dushanbe May 31st, to June 18th, 2016
 
before:
  • Uzbekistan from Turkmenistan border in Dashoguz to Tajikistan border near Oybeck May 10th to 31st, 2016
  • Turkmenistan from Iran border at Bajgiran to Uzbekistan border near Khiva May 6th to 10th, 2016
  • Iran from the ferry port Bandar Abbas to Turkmenistan border near Ashgabat April 11th to May 6th, 2016
  • United Arab Emirates from Saudi Arabia border to Sharjah and the ferry to Iran January 12th to April 10th, 2016
  • Saudi Arabia from the ferry port Jeddah in transit to United Arab Emirates border January 9th to 12th, 2016
  • Sudan – from Ethiopia border to Suakin and the ferry to Saudi Arabia December 9th, 2015 to January 8th, 2016
  • afterwards:
    Tajikistan Part 2 from Dushanbe to the Kyrgyzstan border June 19th to 27th, 2016
    Kyrgyzstan from Tajikistan border in Pamir to Kazakhstan border at Karkara June 27th to July xxth, 2016
    Kazakhstan –  from Kyrgyzstan to Russia border – July xxth to August xxth, 2016
    Russia – from Kazakhstan (at Mikhaylovka) to Mongolia border (at Tashanta) and Ukraine border at Krupets August 21st to November 11th, 2016
     
     
    Tajikistan Map
     
     
                   Map of Central Asia
     
    latest picture: June 17, 2016
    • click a picture to see details

     
     
     
     
     
     
    001  Emil adds Tajikistan to our country ribbon.
    It is May 31st, 2016, when we cross into our
    186th country Tajikistan at the Uzbek border
    post of Oybek (Chanak). Tajikistan is bordering
    Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and China
    002  In Khujand, the second biggest city
    (metro 750'000 people), the Tajikistan flag
    is waving in the wind under a blue sky. During
    Soviet times the city was named Leninabad
    003  President Emomali Rahmonov’s portrait
    is greeting at ”every corner“, here at the big
    square at the Panchshanbe Bazaar in Khujand.
    He is President of the Republic of Tajikistan
    since November 16th, 1994
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    004  A striking contrast to the lively bazaar
    is the dome of the Sheikh Massal ad-Din
    complex (Sheikh Muslihiddin mausoleum)
    at the Panchshanbe Square in Khujand
    005  The impressive Sheikh Massal ad-Din
    Complex at Panchshanbe Square in Khujand
    with its mausoleum in the middle, flanked by
    two mosques with up to 69 ft. [21m] high
    brick minarets
    006  In front of the pink-white painted
    market hall on Panchshanbe Square in
    Khujand small vendors and rentals of
    children electric cars are making business
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    007  Cherries, apricots, apples and
    nectarines are waiting for buyers in
    front of the market hall in Khujand
    008  The Panchshanbe Bazaar in the elegant
    hall in Khujand, built in 1964, is said to be
    one of the biggest and best-stocked
    markets in Central Asia
    009  It is peak season for water and
    honey melons. They are for sale in great
    quantities and are sold like hot cakes in
    the current heat wave of 97°F [36°C]
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    010  Early practice only makes the master
    (general): The boy is sitting proudly and fully
    concentrated on his electric tank and drives on
    Panchshanbe Square, navigated by his father …..
    011  ….. the sweet little girl in her
    “normal car“ is also moving around
    and seems to fully enjoy it too
    012  Also the ice cream seller is
    not missing at Panchshanbe Square
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    013  The “Eternal Flame” and a memorial
    “in honor” of the Soviets in a small park
    along Lenin Street in Khujand
    014  Liliana looks small in front of the
    imposing statue of Kamal Khujandi,
    a poet of the 14th century
    015  Busts of the “Stars of Khujand”
    line the way in the same-named park
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    016  10th-century Citadel in Khujand: It once
    was 3ľ miles [6km] long with 7 gates. The main
    section remains occupied by the army, but houses
    museums and is still a popular place for recreation
    017  The young mother is carrying proudly
    her young festively dressed child in her arm
    018  The rear of two peacock figures in
    the small park near the citadel is filled with
    flower pots. They are a popular photo
    spot for families with small children
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    019  The 72 ft. [22m] tall statue of Lenin,
     moved in 1974 from Moscow to Leninabad
    (today Khujand), was transferred in 2011
    from its stand north of the Syr Darya river to
    its “retirement spot“ in an urban quarter that
    lies 0.7 miles [1.1km] more westerly
    020  A group of women make a lunch
    break near the Lenin statue in Khujand.
    One of them makes us a sign to join
    021  An interesting wall relief made of
    mosaics depicts historic (?) scenes at
    an intersection north of Khujand
    (near Khamirabot)
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    What would the world be without blooming plants? Eye-catching flowers in Khujand
    022
    023  Firewheel (Gaillardia), actually native
    to northern Mexico and Southern USA
    024
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    025  The self-display of the Tajik President is
    omnipresent. Here he poses in the middle of
    nicely costumed students along Lenin Street in
    Khujand, today called Ismoili Somoni Avenue
    026  Gate to Istaravashan, 42 miles [68 km]
    southwest of Khujand along the road to
    Dushanbe. Each city in Tajikistan greets
    with such an imposing structure
    027  Tajikistan’s landscape is wild and
    shaped by deep canyons – here between
    Shakhristan and Buragen along M34 highway
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    028  From the 17’234 ft. [5’253m] long
    Shakhristan-Pass-Tunnel the road is winding
    from an altitude of 9’022 ft. [2’750m] down
    to the narrow Zerafshan valley, where in
    Ayni, about 4’600 ft. [1’400m] lower,
    the road junction to the capital Dushanbe
    and to Samarkand/Uzbekistan lies
    029  An overturned truck blocks
    half of the Shakhristan mountain road.
    Knowing the reckless driving,
    it’s not surprising
    030  Between Ayni and Penjikent – 56 miles
    [90km] – the road drops from the altitude of
    about 4’500 ft. [<1’400m] into the Zerafshan
    gorge to about 3’100 ft. [±950m]. The new tar
    road runs through a very scenic landscape
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    031  Between Ayni and Penjikent, Emil is
    taking a picture of the typical village
    Urmitan, embedded in a harsh mountain
    region. It gives the impression of an oasis
    032  “What a lively jam!“ On the Ayni-
    Penjikent route herdsmen are leading
    their sheep to the next pasture
    033  “Photo!“ shouts the young herdsman
    and poses joyfully for the picture
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    034  It turns green only along the river.
    Mountain scenery between Ayni and
    Penjikent – in the background the
    Turkestan mountain range
    035  It doesn’t turn in the wind but due to
    water: A water wheel at a village channel.
    In many places there is no running water.
    People have to carry it home single-handed or
    with their donkeys. Here before Novichornok,
    on the road to 7 Lakes (Haft-Kul)
    036  Isolated from the rest of the world:
    A remote hamlet nestling on a stony slope
    of the Fan Mountains, reachable only
    by foot or donkey
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    037  The ‘aha’ experiences on the partly
    difficult 23 miles [37km] from Penjikent to
    Haft-Kul – the ‘7 Lakes’ – follow at every turn.
    Here it’s the passage through a narrow canyon
    shortly before reaching the first lake ‘Mijon’ …..
    038  ….. once it is the attractive
    scenery of an alpine river …..
    039  ….. another time it’s a steep
    spectacular mountain climb
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    040  This is the first and most beautiful
    of the chain of 7 turquoise glinting ponds
    along the western end of the Fan mountain
    range. They extend for more than
    12 miles [20km] towards the south …..
    041  ….. the second lake ‘Gushor’
    is separated from the third lake
    ‘Novin’ only by a small
    ribbon of land …..
    042  ….. the fifth lake ‘Haft-Kul’
    is also sandwiched into the
    dramatic mountain scenery
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    043  Camping joy at the 4th lake ‘Kurdak’.
    We share the beautiful spot with some
    fishermen who, however, leave in the
    evening with empty hands
    044  The mountain slopes around the
    Seven Lakes are flowering, adding to the
    charm of this magnificent mountain region
    045  Alpine idyll pur: The fast flowing
    mountain river rushes past our rough
    camping spot at the 7 Lakes. Tajikistan
    counts 1‘000 rivers and 2‘000 lakes
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Tajik people love to have taken their photos, giving us thus the opportunity to a brief encounter
    046
    047
    048
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    049  The stately trees that line the river are
    ‘ablaze’ by the warm evening light (on the
    way back between the 7 Lakes and Sujina)
    050  Scattered settlements nestle on the
    slopes of the Fan mountain range between
    the 7 Lakes and Penjikent
    051  A reddish shimmering eroded mountain
    wall northeast of Chorbog raises vertically from
    the plain and contrasts wonderfully with the green
    of the valley (between 7 Lakes and Penjikent)
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    052  Near Gusar, east of Penjikent, the
    Zerafshan river flows in different pathways
    through the river bed before reuniting again
    053  The bush with the delicate pink blossoms
    is another example of nature’s beauty
    054  At Dardar, west of Ayni, the
    Zerafshan river is meandering in narrow
    bends through the canyon
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    055  Between Ayni and Sarvoda – on the
    main Dushanbe highway – the good tarmac
    road runs through a narrow gorge flanked by
    steep mountains, leaving just enough space
    for the road and the river
    056  Steep and partly washed-out switch-
    backs lead near Rabot from the Dushanbe
    highway to Iskander-Kul (-lake) on
    7’200 ft. [2’195m] altitude …..
    057  ….. view to the blue silverish river
    that is meandering through the narrow
    canyon deep below
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    058  Simply beautiful: The color palette
    of the mountains rising into a deep blue sky
    could possibly not be more splendid. Our
    LandCruiser on its descent to Iskander-
    Kul, the lake in the Zerafshan range
    059  On our descent to Iskander-Kul
    we enjoy another beautiful view into
    the great canyon scenery
    060  The opal-blue mountain lake Iskander-
    Kul comes into view. Along with the blue-
    silverish shining river, the reddish mountains
    and the luminous yellow bushes it is a most
    stunning picture
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    061  Only a short hike from Iskander-Kul,
    the river carrying big quantities of water
    from the melting of snow, rumbles down
    a rift to the valley …..
    062  ….. Peculiar plants and huge
    boulders shape the alpine landscape
    around the waterfall …..
    063  ….. Emil is relaxing on a
    boulder and enjoys the view
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Different flowers in shining yellow. With their intensive luminosity they always convey a feeling of sun even if it is not shining
    064
    065
    066
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    067  Liliana at our lunch table on the shore
    of Iskander-Kul. We enjoy our spot at the
    official forest campsite with view to the
    mountains reflecting in the calm waters
    of the mountain lake …..
    068  ….. more to the right (southwest),
    there is another almost perfect reflection
    of the Fan Mountains …..
    069  ….. another reflecting picture: We
    cannot get enough of the spectacular view
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    070  Halfway around Iskander-Kul
    snow capped mountain peaks mirror
    from the southeast in the lake
    071  Carpets of pink flowers line
    the shore of Iskander-Kul at an
    altitude of 7’200 ft. [2’195m]
    072  View across Iskander-Kul lake with
    the tree-lined shore and the access road to
    the President’s Datcha (vacation house)
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    073  Working day for Emil at Iskander-Kul.
    He changes spark plugs and the distributor
    points. For that he has to sit uncomfortably
    under the hood as everything – though a
    lot of space – is not so easy to access
    074  Last moment with our German-
    Dutch neighbors Anna and Reinier at the
    Iskander-Kul forest campsite. They are
    with their Volkswagen Bus T3 on a
    4 months trip through Central Asia
    075  A remembrance photo of the
    two of us with Iskander-Kul in the
    background when we (have to) leave
    this mountain region after three
    wonderful camping days for Dushanbe
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    076  A gasp of relief: Our overheating
    LandCruiser that stops over and over again,
    crossed the 16’535 ft. [5’040m] long, unlit
    and unventilated Anzob tunnel, also called
    “death tunnel“ without any breakdown
    077  At the southern end of the Anzob
    tunnel, we are greeted not only by fresh
    air but also by lush green mountain slopes
    and snow capped mountain peaks …..
    078  ….. the stunning mountain
    scenery continues to delight us for
    quite some time as we roll downhill
    towards the capital Dushanbe
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    079  Panorama at the southern Anzob
    tunnel descent: Below the river is meandering
    down the valley, from the other side of the
    valley greets the spring like mountain scenery
    080  From Anzob tunnel, our LandCruiser
    rolls from the coolness of the high mountain
    region (8’700 ft.) [2’650m] to the heat
    of the plain (2’316 ft.) [706m]
    081  Emil feasting: We have soup, boiled
    beef, roasted cutlets on a spit, salad, bread
    and two one 1˝-liter bottles of beer. For
    two it costs Somoni 150, about US$19.10
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    082  Discussion regarding the overheating
    problem of our LandCruiser in a workshop
    in Dushanbe, used also by diplomats. But
    they cannot help us because they never
    had this model …..
    083  ….. in the compound of the “Hello“
    Guesthouse in Dushanbe, Emil removes the
    winch and puts it on the roof rack hoping to
    reduce the overheating problem (more air
    for the radiator) …..
    084  ….. as last hope we visit Tajikistan’s
    Toyota distributor in Dushanbe, unfortunately
    with the same result as at the first workshop.
    What now? On June 18th, 2016, we decide as
    a “hit or miss” to take off to the Pamir Highway
     
    Continuation to the next Tajikistan page: Tajikistan Part 2 June 19th to 27th, 2016,  from Dushanbe to the Kyrgyzstan border
    The African trip 2013-16:
    CapeVerde: Santiago/Praia part 1 – November18th to December 13th, 2013
    CapeVerde: Fogo – Dezember13th to 23rd, 2013
    CapeVerde: Brava – December 23rd to 26th, 2013
    Cape Verde: Santiago/Praia part 2 – December 26th, 2013 to February 28th, 2014
    Cape Verde: Săo Nicolau – February 28th to March 13th, 2014
    Cape Verde: Săo Vicente/Mindelo part 1 – March 13th to 20th, 2014
    Cape Verde: Santo Antăo/Eastern side part 1 – March 20th to April 7th, 2014
    Cape Verde: Santo Antăo/Western side part 2April 7th to 10th, 2014
    Cape Verde: Săo Vicente/Mindelo part 2April 10th to 29th, 2014
    Namibia Part 1 from Walvis Bay to Windhoek
    Angola Part 1 September 26th to October 4th, 2014
    Angola Part 2 October 4th to 22nd, 2014
    Namibia Part 2 from Windhoek to the Angolan border, back again and on to South Africa
    South Africa Part 1 from Namibia border to Capetown January 22nd to February 23rd, 2015
    3rd Major Repair of our LandCruiser FJ60 - 1982  (due to two broken sideshafts)
    South Africa Part 2 from Capetown to Tsitsikamma National Park February 24th to March 13th, 2015
    South Africa Part 3 from Addo National Park to the Lesotho border March 13th to April 7th, 2015
    Lesotho April 7th to 15th, 2015
    South Africa Part 4 from the Lesotho to the Swaziland border April 15th to 23rd, 2015
    Swaziland April 23rd to 28th, 2015
    South Africa Part 5 from the Swaziland to the Botswana border  April 28th to May 15th, 2015
    Botswana
    Zimbabwe
    Mozambique
    Malawi
    Armed Robbery in Malawi on July 31st/August 1st, 2015
    Tanzania
    Kenya
    Ethiopia Part 1 – from Kenya to Djibouti October 25th to November 18th, 2015
    Djibouti October 18th to 27th, 2015
    Ethiopia Part 2   from Djibouti to Sudan November 27th to December 9th, 2015
    Sudan December 9th, 2015 to January 8th, 2016