The wilds of Central Asia are amongst some of the most mysterious and fascinating regions anywhere on earth. These are lands that still stir the imagination, where glittering palaces of turquoise and gold emerge like shimmering mirages from the desert plains and the call to prayer transports us back to a time of merchant caravans and nomadic invaders.
This incredible journey takes us across landscapes that once thundered beneath the hooves of the Mongol hordes and where Islamic culture and learning reached the zenith of its crowning glory. From the vibrant city of Tashkent we journey into the surreal landscapes of the Aral Sea, entering a world that few have ever seen and one that fewer will ever see again. We’ll cross the sea bed, following desert tracks that take us past marooned fishing boats and blighted landscapes, to the dying waters of a once great sea. In marked contrast, the second part of our odyssey takes us back to a time when human enterprise left the desert landscapes littered with beacons of human enlightenment. We’ll visit the glittering cities of Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, stunning reminders of a golden period of Muslim culture and home to some of the most impressive monuments to Islamic art and architecture in the world.
This is an incredible journey of discovery, where the sublime and the surreal meet across the desert plains of Central Asia.
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The Museum of Art in Nukus has the second largest collection of Soviet avant-garde art in the world and is a real gem.