Arrival, Bukhara

Bukhara, Uzbekistan
29-30 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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Architecture, Art, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Nadir Divan Begi Madrassah, Photography, Silk, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

A truck on the road between Khiva and Bokhara. Likely advice to any pedestrians on the right side of the road – run!

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Architecture, Art, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Nadir Divan Begi Madrassah, Photography, Silk, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The sign at the restaurant at the left says “ШАШЛИК СОМСА КЕПСИ ТОВУҚ ЖИЗ”, or as you might have guessed “Shashlik Somsa Kepsi Chicken Jiz”.

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Architecture, Art, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Nadir Divan Begi Madrassah, Photography, Silk, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

A dome in the late afternoon light in Bukhara.

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This looks like a sunset but the sun is well above the horizon, so it’s an exposure directly into the sun which is shining through the window in the cupola. Rather than a low light exposure, it is actually 200 ISO, 1/8,000 sec, f11.
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A little later with a cloud of birds in the distance. These two were probably taken at dinner.
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An hour later, a wedding group on the streets.
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This is above the main portal of the Nadir Divan-begi Madrasa.

It was built as a caravanserai (prosaically, if you like, a motel with camels instead of cars) but either dedicated as or later converted to a madrassah (or school, often religious) and the architecture more resembles a caravanserai than a madrassah. It was built during the reign of Imam Quli Khan (1611 to 1642, a time of prosperity and peace) and built by his Vizier Nadir Divan-begi, after whom it is named. In the image above, the sun has a face as do the serpents below him. Traditionally, Islam strongly disapproved of depiction of humans and animals but this was relaxed in the Persian-influenced world in the early seventeenth century.

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This image and the next eight are also in the Nadir Divan-begi Madrassah.
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Wall and ceiling details…..
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Architecture, Art, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Nadir Divan Begi Madrassah, Photography, Silk, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .
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A silk weaver.
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Discussion of potential purchases, perhaps.
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Looking up….
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A variety of textile wonders on offer…..
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This is the ancient Magoki-Attori Mosque.
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This southern entrance dates to the 12th century and you can see the trace of carved blue majolica tiles.
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There was originally a Zoroastrian fire temple and later a Buddhist temple. The Moslem religion arrived about 650AD but its takeover was gradual. At one time both Jews and Moslems were said to have worshiped here concurrently though this may have been at different times of the day. Bukhara burnt down in 927 and the mosque was built or rebuilt at this time. It was rebuilt in the 12th century using the design of the previous mosque and restored in the 14th and 17th centuries and the 1930s and 1970s. It had to be dug out in the 1930s because over the years it had sunk below rising levels of sand.
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It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the oldest mosques in central Asia.
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Carved doorway.
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Looking up in the top level, from the 1930s.
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Not far away is the foundations of an ancient structure but I can’t remember what our guide said and I can not find information on what it was.

(The edge of the Toqi Telpak Furushon Trading Dome is in the background at the far right. We go there in the next post.)
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Architecture, Art, Bukhara, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Magoki-Attori Mosque, Nadir Divan Begi Madrassah, Photography, Silk, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

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Some computer storage problems and solutions

This is a post on some computer storage issues and some things I learned while addressing them.

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Drobo to TerraMaster?

For ten years, I have been backing up to a Drobo.  This was a black box (literally) with five drives in a RAID array, so that it operated faster than single disks and was also safer, as a disk or two could die and you could just replace them without losing data. 

But after twelve years, the Drobo died.  It appeared to be in a startup loop.  I found a report of this and it appeared to be a terminal problem but in any case, support from Drobo is almost non-existent and I would have had to pay $US100 to get their technical people to consider the problem.  So I decided to replace the Drobo with a Chinese five-disk RAID device called a TerraMaster D5-300, which I got for about about half the price of a replacement Drobo.

(I have about 6TB of image data to back up so it’s a sizable task as well as an important one.  NVMe SSDs give great performance but are too expensive to store lots of data so it’s still back to the old hard disks or HDDs for that.)

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This is what it looks like.

Unlike Drobo, Terramaster offers very good assistance which I found invaluable.  The unit also comes with a piece of paper with a link to the Terramaster site where they explain how to set up (including a short video).

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Problems with RAID and hard drives

First I tried the new RAID using 3TB HGST hard drives from the old Drobo but I ended up with partition errors, the RAID was in RAW format and when I dismounted the RAID, the individual disks were in RAW format.  Now this is not like RAW files for images; a RAW disk has no file system that Windows can read.  My backup program Acronis couldn’t recognise the disks, Windows Explorer didn’t recognise them, Window utility chkdsk couldn’t fix them and nor could Disk Manager.  After some research I found a free utility Paragon Partition Manager Community Edition that allowed me to to convert the RAW hard drives to NTFS and recover them. 

I still wasn’t able to create a RAID, though.  I tried twice using six HGST 3TB drives and three times using nine WD Red 2TB drives (from a RAID on my previous PC).  Each time I encountered partition errors, RAW format RAIDs and disks, and bad sectors on some of the disks.  I discovered that Windows chkdsk (Check Disk) is a superficial utility that may approve a disk as OK that still has bad sectors on it.  However, I discovered some free utilities that though slower are far more thorough than chkdsk.  I used DiskGenius and WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows (and for those with Seagate disks, there is also Seatools by Seagate (but may not work on non-Seagate drives)).  (WD Lifeguard Diagnostic has also recently been replaced by another product but it’s only for SSDs).

After five unsuccessful attempt to create the RAID and losing some disks, I gave up and returned the RAID enclosure.  Instead I am backing up to additional single hard drives located inside my PC.  This only makes sense because I also backup to the Cloud using CrashPlan for Small Business.  Otherwise, in the event of a fire, I would lose all my files.  (I also have local backups to external disks using a disk caddy but that doesn’t get updated very often).

I ended up with two dead HGST 3TB hard drives out of six and five dead WD Reds out of nine.  The HGST drives may well have been killed by the Drobo.  The Drobo’s startup loop meant it kept starting up and closing down, so that the hard drives were repeatedly waking up and crashing, which could well have caused physical damage and made some of them unusable. 

The HGST drives were 8 or 9 years old but they are enterprise drives with a longer life and I don’t think that was the problem.  My WD Reds were mainly 6 to 8 years old though three, including one that failed, were only one year old.  A “normal” hard drive is said to have a life expectancy of 3 to 5 years, so was it just that the most of the WD Reds were too old?  I decided to also test my other old hard drives from previous RAIDs and backups.  These included four 2TB WD Greens of 10 to 11 years old, four 1TB WD Blacks mainly 12 years old and one 1.5TB WD Green of 9 years old.  All of those tested OK including two with a single bad sector that was repaired.

So I suspect that those five WD Reds (most of which were in a RAID last year) did not die of old age but were killed by the TerraMaster.  Perhaps it would have worked with newer disks but I wasn’t about to purchase a whole lot of them to find out.  Perhaps I had a defective RAID enclosure.  Most people report no problems and find it works well though a small minority have reported problems similar to the ones I encountered.

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Hidden issues with WD Reds

Speaking of WD Reds, they are the most obvious disk for most people to use in a RAID but there is a hidden issue with them.  A couple of years ago there was just the WD Red but now there is Red, Red Plus or Red Pro.  The old Reds are the same as the Red Plus.  The new Reds are best avoided because they may be less reliable and are not much cheaper.  However, WD weren’t open about this change and disks sold as Reds can either be new Reds or new Red Pluses (refer here for which models are which).  The Red Pros are faster than the Red Pluses (7200rpm vs 5400rpm) but the Red Pluses are likely to last longer and the speed is not so important for backup.  The enterprise drive above the Reds is the WD (HGST) Ultrastar, which replaces the WD Gold.

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CF and SD Cards

Coincidentally, I encountered a bad sector when trying to download some images from a CF card.  CF and SD cards are said to have a life of around ten years and some of mine are as old as 13 years.  So I also went through and tested all my CF cards and found two out of seven unusable due to bad sectors.  That may not mean your camera will tell you you’re about to lose some images though, so it’s a good idea to occasionally test your cards, especially the old ones.  It’s probably better to throw away a CF or SD card if it has any bad sectors.  For testing these cards I used DiskGenius because it has a good graphical interface.  (I will soon also test my SD cards, which can be up to 10 years old).

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To check a disk you right-click to Verify or Repair Bad Sectors or find that on the Disk menu.

Hopefully, you have a disk with no bad sectors.

 

… But this one is unusable whether the camera thinks so or not, and is to be thrown away.

If you have problems with lost files on a CF or SD card, the best option I know of is RescuePro Deluxe, which comes free with Sandisk Extreme and Extreme Pro cards.  It’s not owned by SanDisk though and it recently changed hands.  They now make it more difficult for you to find the free download link and try to encourage you to go for the paid version.

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Next post : Normal service resumes at Bukhara, Uzbekistan….

 

Technical Posts

 

Links to technical posts on this Blog….

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Technique

RAW Processing

Lightroom

Printing

Computers

Backup

Equipment

Khiva at Night

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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Architecture, History, Juma Mosque, Khiva, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

For our dinner, we went to a roof-top restaurant with a good view.  Here are people waiting for the sunset on top of the Kuhkna Ark.
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In the other direction, the sun is setting directly behind this minaret.
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Back on the Kuhkna Ark, people are still observing the slowly mounting sunset.
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… and then, putting on a show for us…..
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We also had good views of the Kalta Minor and the Amin Khan Madrassah.
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A detail from the Amin Khan Madrassah.
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The Tura Murad Minaret in the background.
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Back to the small minaret behind the Kuhkna Ark, and the light has changed.
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Walking back after dark to our accommodation, behind the Kalta Minor.
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Similar view in landscape format.
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Looking up at Kalta Minor.

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Juma Mosque and Toshkhovli Palace, Khiva

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Juma Mosque, Khiva, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Toshkhovli Palace, Travel, Uzbekistan

We’ve just left the Kukhna Ark (previous two posts), and here is a most impressive door handle and knocker nearby.

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… also a cheerful dromedary camel, lying in sand.

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Wedding party on the road, as we walk towards Juma Mosque.  Probably Tura Murad minaret in the near background.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Juma Mosque, Khiva, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Toshkhovli Palace, Travel, Uzbekistan

We are now inside Juma (or Djuma or Friday) Mosque which has a single hall interior and was built in the late eighteenth century over the remains of the previous mosque, so that many of the pillars here are much older.  There are 213 pillars, each different.  The oldest four were salvaged in the tenth century from the declining city of Kath, which had been the capital of the Khwarezmian Empire.  Another seventeen were added a century later.  Other pillars date from the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries but most of them are from the eighteenth.  The acoustics of the hall are also impressive.

Kath (modern town: Beruniy) was the capital of Khwarazm under the Afrighids (a Persian dynasty) from 305 to 995AD.  They were Zoroastrian until the 8th century when there was a violent forced Moslem conversion.  The Ma’munids took over in 995.  The Ghaznavids (a Persian dynasty of Turkic Mamluk origin) then took over a couple of years later.

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I took quite a few macro shots of carvings on the pillars.  Unfortunately most failed but here are two.  (Technical note: I think I switched to manual for focus-bracketing the image of the hall above, and forgot to switch back to Auto ISO).

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Juma Mosque, Khiva, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Toshkhovli Palace, Travel, Uzbekistan .

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Outside, a young bride-to-be on the street.

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… and we walked towards our next destination the Toshkhovli Palace.

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A ceiling detail from the palace.

Toshkhovli (or Tosh Hauli or Stone Courtyard) Palace was built from 1830 to 1838 by Allakuli-Khan as an updated dwelling from the Kukhna Ark.  Apparently some architects who refused to build it in two years were executed and it took eight years to build.  These days it also houses a Khorezm Handicrafts Museum.

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This is in the Harem area and the iwan we see (the recessed courtyard decorated with majolica tiles) is one of the four for each of the Khan’s wives.  Behind this exterior was her living quarters and a lounge room for her attendants.  Even courtiers were refused access here.

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A section of the ceiling of the iwan at the left or right.

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A section of the ceiling of the iwan in the middle.

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They’re clearly not wagon wheels.  Perhaps they were used for cattle to grind grain.

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This is the iwan of the Khan, and in front of it on the round platform is the framework of a yurt that would have been his summer residence.  Behind the iwan are corridors connecting to the iwans of the wives that only the Khan could use.

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An impressive door, possibly of greater antiquity than the palace.

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There are two sections to see of the palace, and you have to go outside and re-enter to see the second one.  That is the exterior of the palace behind the wall.

There is an old well in the Palace, which we did not see.  However there is a more important ancient well (which we also did not see) near the north wall of the old city, which is central to the story of Khiva.  It was the original reason for merchants stopping here along their Silk Road journeys.  It is said that on tasting the clear water they would exclaim “Khey Vakh!” (“How Wonderful”) so the locals named the well Kheyvak, which led in turn to Khiva getting its name.

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Another ceiling section.

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This is the Khan’s bedroom.

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Opposite the iwans of the Khan and the wives, this is the residence for the concubines and the household staff.

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Back outside the palace again.

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An array of textiles on an open courtyard.

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Shown from a different angle, this shows where we are.  Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum on the left and the base of Islam Khoja Minaret.

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Nearby, a selection of handicrafts.

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Remarkable wood carving.  Maybe a door, not sure.

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We are back near we were staying, cruising the markets for handicrafts.  Tura Murad Minaret is in the background.  The man sitting in the chair was waiting for prospective customers to don his coat and a hat and pose for a photograph.  The locals passing by don’t look that impressed.

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Markets and Kalta Minor in the background.  I did buy a hat like one of those on the right.

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The camel is still there a couple of hours later.  That must be the Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah in the background.  Perhaps that door is solely for camels from the madrassah.

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A young couple having wedding or engagement photos in the old city.

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Looking back at the top of the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum and the Islam Khoja Minaret.

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Not sure exactly which buildings the last two images are from.

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That is Tura Murad Minaret again in the background though.

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Kukhna Ark, Khiva, Part 2

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

After the last post, I was expecting to move on to the Juma Mosque and views of Khiva at night.  However, I was using two cameras and it turned out that the date time settings for one of the cameras was eleven hours different to the other one.  So when I finished selecting images from the Kukhna Ark, these were just from the camera with the correct date time setting and the images from the same time with the second camera were mixed up with later and night images from the first camera.

Had I realised this, there still would have been two posts but I would have divided them up differently.  Still, it’s not so bad because the lenses on each camera were quite different so the images between each post are quite different.  The first six images here are street photography with a wide angle lens and the rest are long telephotos, many very long telephotos.

For the more technically focused, both cameras were Fujifilm X-T2s.  In the first post I used six different lenses but 40% of the images were from a 10-24mm f4 lens (15mm to 36mm full frame equivalent) and another 40% from an 80mm f2.8 macro (120mm equivalent), sometimes with a 1.4x teleconverter.  In this post, the first six images are with a 23mm f2 lens (35mm equivalent) and the rest were with a 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens (150mm to 600mm equivalent) and about half of those were with a 1.4x teleconverter.  Most of those were at the longer end of the zoom range so could be up to 840mm full frame equivalent.

There are brief comments on many of the images below but for more information on Khiva and its history, go back and view the previous post if you have not already done so.
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Street markets in the old city.  They must be somewhere near where we were staying but I can’t work out exactly where for the first two images.

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The car in the distance puzzles me because the map shows only three gates into the Old City and it’s not one of them.

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This is the Tura Murad Minaret.

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We are now further in the distance from the previous image.

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Now we have turned around and are heading back towards the Kalta Minor.  The young boy is riding a modern contraption that I believe is called a bicycle.  An early traveller in the nineteenth century rode through Uzbekistan en route from England to India.  Locals who saw this strange unnatural apparition were either convulsed with laughter or recoiled in fear.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
We are now on the roof of the Kukhna Ark.  See previous post for more info.  From left to right, Tura Murad Minaret, Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum, Kalta Minor and Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum.  (I mislabelled an image of this in the previous post, since corrected).

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Ceramic tiles near the top of the Kalta Minor.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
The wooden structure is the Terrassa Restaurant, where we have dinner that night and I produce night images from there in the next post.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Detail of Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
A corner of the Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah, next door to the Tura Murad Minaret.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
No idea of the name of this minaret.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
I think we are looking south at the west wall of the Amin Khan Madrassah and the old city walls.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Muhammad Rahim-khan Madrasah and the Tura Murad Minaret.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Many of these images are not possible to place.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
However, this must be the dome of the Amin Khan Madrassah.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Down below me, a workman was sawing away at something in a reconstruction area.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
I turned away to photograph this old madrassah (?).  You can see how many of the tiles have fallen off.  Then I heard a loud crash.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
The workman had sawn away a supporting beam and demolished a wall.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
With these long telephoto shots, I can’t identify exactly where it is….

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan
Two young women below, maybe walking home after shopping, one wearing a dress with a wonderful traditional design.

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Kukhna Ark, Khiva

Khiva, Uzbekistan
28 September 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Here we are arriving at the city walls of Khiva.

Khiva was built close to the Amu Darya River though the river now flows elsewhere.  It is also close to the border with Turkmenistan and on the other side of the border there is desert.  It is part of the Khorezm, a fertile area surrounded by deserts that has been a centre of civilisations for about four thousand years.  From 1077 until 1231 (when the Mongols turned up after their emissaries were executed) the Khorezm was the centre of the Kwarazmian Empire, including Persia, Afghanistan and much of central Asia.  The Amu Darya was known as the Oxus to the Greeks and Romans, for example in the time of Alexander the Great.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

There has been a settlement at Khiva, a depot on the silk road, for two thousand years or more and parts of the city walls are thought to date from the fifth century, but it has only been a significant city since the sixteenth century.  That century saw the foundation of the Khanate of Khorezm and the shift of the capital from Kunya Urgench (now in Turkmenistan) to Khiva.  For some centuries it was a regional powerhouse.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The Russians first turned up in 1717 with 4,000 troops who were welcomed, ushered to quarters and then slaughtered.  In 1839-40, another army of 5,000 (with 10,000 camels) set out to achieve revenge but perished in the desert.  The Russians finally turned up in 1873.  After the Revolution in 1920 there was briefly the Khorezm People’s Republic until it was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1924 and divided between the Uzbek and Turkmen SSRs.  Uzbekistan became independent in 1991.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Street markets, on the other side of the West Gate.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Some goods in the street.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

A map of the old city.  We entered from the gate at the bottom.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is the door to our accommodation, the Mohammed Amin Khan Madrassah (or the Orient Star Khiva Hotel).

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

… and here is the interior courtyard.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is the top of the Kalta Minor (or Short Minaret).

It was commissioned by Mohammed Amin Khan (or Medamin) in 1852 and was intended to be 70 meters high but was abandoned at 26 metres after his death in 1856.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

A couple of partly corrected views using a fisheye lens which remain distorted but show something of the sense of scale.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Across an open courtyard with the Kalta Minor in the distance.  The open doorway in the middle distance is I think the Information Centre, the small rectangular building at the right is the Zindan or jail and we are heading through the doorway at the right, into the Kuhkna Ark, or the Museum of Ancient Khorezm.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

… and in we go,,,

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is not the main door to the Ark, it must be another one just inside.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The Khans of Khiva had several residences but this is the original one and since it is fortified, it was a place of refuge in times of uncertainty.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is the Summer Mosque (1838) with tiles by Ibadullah and Abdullah Jin.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Here is a closeup of some of the tiles.  My partner Jools who graduated in ceramics, tells me the glazing shows a high level of proficiency.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan .
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

A section of the ceiling.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Opportunity missed.  These caps look more interesting than some of the ones I purchased in Bukhara and Samarkand.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

From the Summer Mosque, we move on through the doorway at the right.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

On the other side are a few guards or policemen.  Three different uniforms and the ones one the right say “Milliy Gvardia” on the back meaning Uzbekistan National Guard so they are soldiers.  Probably all of them are.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is the Khurinish Khana or Throne room. There used to be a wooden throne gilded in silver but that was carried off to St Petersberg by the Russians and never returned.  Receptions were either in the (open three-sided) iwan in summer or in a warm yurt in winter, erected where the circular stonework is.

Uzbekistan these days is very safe and friendly but in the nineteenth century Khiva wasn’t a democracy and there could be savage penalties for minor infractions of religious rules.
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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The top of a section of the walls.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

People from nearby areas come to the historic sites for wedding photos.  In this case a conjuring trick – the bride floating in the air.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Behind them we see the crenulated outer wall of Khiva, potentially giving covering fire from a variety of angles.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

A view to the south west.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Islam Khoja Minaret & the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Kalta Minor and Amin Khan Madrassah (where we were staying).

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

The Chinese New Silk Road is arriving in Uzbekistan, it seems.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Crenulated city walls again.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Tower and walls in the Ark.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Part of an ancient door inside the Ark.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

… which we have now left.

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Architecture, Art, Ceramics, History, Khiva, Kukhna Ark, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Uzbekistan

Looking back at the entrance to the Ark.

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(More on Khiva in the next post).

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(Technical note:  I processed these images in both Lightroom and Capture One.  About half are from each and three were processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.  Capture One has an advantage over Lightroom with selections and masks (so for processing regions), where colour is an issue, or with clarity.  Most of these images just received overall processing though.  If anyone wants to see whether they can detect any difference, images 1, 5, 8, 9, 13, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29,32, 33 36 and 37 were processed in Capture One, while images 10, 11 and 30 were processed in Lightroom and Photoshop.)

Tashkent to Urgench

28 September 2018.
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We flew from Tashkent to Urgench, a Soviet-era city near the ancient city of Khiva, our destination for the day.

So the first images are the outskirts of Tashkent, then we fly over desert, then we approach Urgench.

The river you see in some of the later images is the Amu Darya.  Urgench is built around the remains of a river, so that must be a previous course of the Amu Darya, and I presume that hundreds of years earlier, the Amu Darya flowed past Khiva.

The technical quality is not that good in many of these images so there’s not much fine detail to be seen.  The shutter speeds were OK so I suspect the problem was smeared windows.  Not much you can do about that as a passenger on a plane. (It may still be worthwhile clicking on some of the images for a larger size).

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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan

In the foreground is probably Adya Lake in Uzbekistan but it may be Shardara Reservoir in Kazakhstan.
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan

Smoke in the desert at top right?.
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan

It turns out to be from twin chimneys.  Probably a mining processing plant..
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .
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Aerial Photography, Desert, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Urgench, Uzbekistan .

Tashkent

27 September 2018.
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Andalusia, Athens, Barcelona, Crete, Greece, Istanbul, Oregon, Photography, Spain, Thira, Travel, USA, Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan Crete Spain and Oregon Itinerary, Washington .

This is the first of my final posts on my trip to Uzbekistan, Istanbul, Athens, Thira, Crete, Andalusia, Barcelona, Washington and Oregon in 2018.  I made a few temporary posts at the time with some images and no commentary.  I will update the list of posts in the Itinerary Post as I make new posts.

I have been slow in posting this due to moving office within my home and disk storage issues for backup.  My posts may be slow for a while.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

This is a map of our itinerary in Uzbekistan.  We were on a custom tour with Adventour, who we found to be an excellent tour company.  The first post is for Tashkent, where we flew in from Australia, via Kuala Lumpur.

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Tashkent is 2,000 years old it was sacked several times and not as much has survived as in some of the other cities of Uzbekistan.  However, we are in the Khast-Imam complex in the Old City part of Tashkent.  The complex is named after Khasrati Imam, one of the first imams of Taskent, born in 909.  Above is the ceramic decoration atop a huge doorway, but I’m not sure exactly which building in the complex.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Based on the date-time on the images, this is the ancient ceiling of a cupola beyond that doorway.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is a wooden ceiling close by.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Out again, a nearby dome though I can’t tell which building.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Muyi Muborak Madrasah on the right and Abdulla Murodxo’jayev Mosque behind.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

The paintings show the derelict state of some of the mosques and madrassas in the nineteenth century, no doubt based on historic photographs.  These are not necessarily Tashkent, though.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is one of the domes of Barakh-khan Madrasah.  This houses one of the oldest Korans in the world, created for Caliph Osman.  He was assassinated in 656 in Medina and the Koran is said to be stained with his blood as he was reading it at the time.  We saw this Koran but photographs are not permitted. It is very large, with calligraphic Arabic script.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Muyi Muborak Madrasah.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Abdulla Murodxo’jayev Mosque.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

This must be at the side of the Abdulla Murodxo’jayev Mosque.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

We are now at the nearby Chor-Su Bazaar.  The apricots look inviting.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

It is quite massive, as you can see, and the poster at the far left is for horse meat.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

This is one of the stations of Tashkent’s metro, a heritage from the Soviet era.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

Our guide is waiting for use as we walk out of the destination metro station.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

The crane is the emblem of Uzbekistan.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

We are now in the Museum of Applied Arts, originally the home of Imperial Russian diplomat Alexander Polovtsev.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan

I think we are out of the museum now, in just a kind of shopping arcade.

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Architecture, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan .

Live Music in Canberra in Times of COVID (Part 2)

December 2020 to February 2021, Canberra, ACT

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Continuing from the previous post….  Canberra has largely escaped COVID (so far at least).  It has never been mandatory to wear masks here and lockdown is a long tome ago.  There are few restrictions on live music now, though you have to be seated and not use a dance floor.  Other States have gone in and out of lockdown though, especially Victoria so interstate musicians were quite often unable to visit. This post is mainly of a couple of large events with many bands.  I have avoided including more than one image of each musician (over both posts) except where they appear as part of a band.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

On 20th December 2020, the Canberra Blues Society held its Christmas party, featuring Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides from Sydney.  It also included the monthly jam and there were six jamming bands.  This is Catherine Golden with Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides, who played both at the beginning and the end.

.Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Wayne Rigby (Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

This is Ross Buchanan, with Jamming Band 1.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Steve Hartnett (Jamming Band 1).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

John van Buuren (Jamming Band 2).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Dave Jensen (Jamming Band 3).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Leo Joseph (Jamming Band 3).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Jeffro Martin (Jamming Band 4).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Mimo (Jamming Band 4).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Berno (Jamming Band 4).

.Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Johnny Huckle (Jamming Band 5).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Juanita Cucinotta (Jamming Band 5).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Calvin Welch (with Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides but playing here with Jamming Band 5).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides is back up again at the end.  This is Bonnie Kay.

Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Illya Szwec.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

The next big event was on 9th January, Bucky’s Birthday Bash.  This is Bucky (David Buckmaster) in an image from 2007.  The event has been held for many years and he played in last year’s event but he died of cancer last year, so the event continues in his honour.  There were six bands this year and P.J. O’Brien Band was supposed to be the climax but they were unable to attend due to a lockdown in New South Wales, so it was all local bands.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Johnny Reynolds (Johnny Reynolds Band).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Dave O’Neill (Rodeo Clowns).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Chris Van Der Wielen and Dene Burton (Urban Drover).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Mitch Preston (Chris Harland Blues Band).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Chris Harland.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Cam Hall (Sunbears, but playing here with Moondog).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Dylan Harding ()Sunbears).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Sunbears.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Wiesse Wade (Sunbears).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

On 19th January there was a celebration of  Mitch Preston’s Birthday at Smith’s Alternative (now a venue; originally a bookshop).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

30th January.  Fiona Boyes, who lived in Canberra for some years, came up from Victoria.  This is Ali Penney accompanying for a track or two on the piano.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Fiona Boyes.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

4th February.  Blues Roulette visited from Melbourne.  Organised by Ben Wicks, this is an array of eminent musicians that changes with each visit.  This is Jimi Hocking.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

James Southwell (Blues Roulette).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Davo Fester (on drums; Blues Roulette).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Jimi Hocking, James Southwell and Ben Wicks.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

5 February.  Pachamama at Gang Gang Cafe, Downer.

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