There’s no city that recalls the Silk Route more than Samarkand, made immortal by poets and playwrights of the past, even though most of them have never seen it.
After breakfast to the strains of “Samarcanda” by Roberto Vecchioni and with “Furia” ahead of the caravan, we hit the road.
After a couple of hundreds of km, a majestic ruin catches our eye: the remains of a caravansary (we can still see sections of big halls). Beppe takes this time to tell us about what used to happen along this legendary route.
We cover more ground, slowly because of the road surface but always safely thanks to the four-wheel-drive-system of Volkswagen! The temperature is getting higher and we roll down the windows… Delicious smell of grilled meat invades the cars: it’s lunch time, we have to stop! We find a little place to eat, but on the outside it doesn’t look cozy, but we are travelers and nothing can discourage us: in fact we ate the best shashlik and bread we ever had!! Never judge a book by its cover!
With our belly happily full, we get back in our vehicles and drive the last 120 km of the day, getting finally to Samarkand.
The mausoleum of Tamerlane seems to welcome the old city, so we decide to go visit it: a huge octagonal building with blue, white and light blue tiles, organized into geometrical and epigraphic ornaments, with a dome of a bright blue color with deep rosettes and white spots.
Inwardly the mausoleum appears as a large, high chamber with deep niches at the sides and diverse decoration. The ornate carved headstones in the inner room of the mausoleum merely indicate the location of the actual tombs in a crypt directly underneath the main chamber. Next to Tamerlane’s grave lie the marble tombstones of his son, grandsons, sisters and “trusted” people.
A majestic monument, a glimpse of what we know this city will show us tomorrow!