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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.
     In Buchara/Uzbekistan 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.
     There were 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.
     Most tourists 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