Many of our friends and co-travelers have asked why we should journey halfway around the world to visit Uzbekistan. What makes this place so special and so deserving of the effort to get there?
Historically, Uzbekistan has been the center point of the silk road, which began in Eastern China and ran through the Middle East to Europe. It was not just a cross roads of commerce, but also of thought, religion, art, and architecture. Even today, 800 years later, you can get the feeling of journeying where Marco Polo journeyed, exploring buildings and alleyways constructed in the 13th century, and most importantly you can experience one of the few places left on the planet where the roots of our ancestors are still palpable.
Because of the clear and dry climate the very unusual architecture, which is unique to Central Asia and not seen in the West, remains in almost pristine condition after a millennia, so that much of what the traveler appreciates is the sense of being part of a living museum. For photographers and artists, history buffs, lovers of beauty or adventurers of any kind this journey will be a delightful experience. Uzbekistan has not been discovered yet by masses of tourists, so there are opportunities for greater intimacy.
Spiritually, Uzbekistan was home to some of the original Zoroastrians, the Khwajagan- who were the Central Asian forerunners of modern Sufism, and a very large and active Jewish community. This land also has some of the roots of the Naqshbandi Sufis and there are many tombs and sacred places still available, among them is the tomb of Baha ad-din Naqshband (d. 1389).
Traveling with and being guided by Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bukhari, whose family have been Uzbeki Naqshbandi Sufis for 4 centuries, offers a remarkable chance to visit a place where every door will open to us; and we're not just visiting places, we are visiting people too. For many who have traveled with David and Anna Less they know the joy of being in their company and the caring and wise nature with which they guide the group. As a final note, Uzbekistan offers some of the most economical shopping in the world, especially for rugs, antiques, and various kinds of artworks. And, because of the difficulty of getting good accommodations, the need to obtain visas early, and our desire to organize group flight travel, we urge you to inform us quickly about your intention to journey with us.
Trip Cost: $3780. This includes all flights within Uzbekistan, hotels, transportation, breakfasts and dinners, and admission to all events and sites. This price does not include international airfare. To register: send us your $1000 deposit, and trip application form, by January 20th.