Turkmenistan’s border is situated on a mountain range on
a level of about 1100 metres (3300 feet). Its capital is Ashkabath,
a city that seems modern and progressive at first sight. But it
turns out to be the result of the president’s megalomania.
Huge palaces, bombastic streets, countless luxurious hotels, that
actually no one can afford. Turkmenistan’s currency seems
to suffer from the waste of money. But at least the 4,5 million
people seem to live better lives than their 24 million Uzbekistan
neighbours do. The Germans got used to the policemen that regularly
stopped them to check their bikes. They were always friendly and
polite and seemed impressed by the fact that Jutta and Gerhard had
come all the way from “Germania”. The former Soviet
states are still strongly influenced by their past. The language
spoken by almost all the people is Russian, even though the official
language might be another.
they stayed for four days. Jutta started feeling weak, Gerhard supposed
a sunstroke. It was hot outside. She didn’t feel very well,
her body was aching, especially the limbs. Gerhard was worried.
not many tourists in Samarkand, Usbekistan, although the city’s
touristic infrastructure is well developed. But the attacks of September
11th still seem to affect the country. Tourism seems to suffer enormously
from what happened, but also from media reports; Uzbekistan and
Kazakhstan ending on “-stan” remind many people of countries
like Pakistan or Afghanistan. And people seem to change their holiday
plans very quickly.
would book a package tour, but Jutta and Gerhard are “spoilt”
in a special way: They are used to individual trips that they completely
prepare on their own.
you will find pictures at the end of each report