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Asia The Silk Road

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T u r k e y  101

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 SILK ROADIn 42 Days
May 22, 2006  - July 01, 2006

Please read the Tour Hand Book for more information

Day 01 Sunday    May 21 Xi'an

Day 02 Monday   May 22 Xi'an

Day 03 Tuesday  May 23

Day 04 Wednesday May 24 
We will  visit Xinjiang Regional Museum which is split into 2 sections - one devoted to archeological treasures from the Silk Road and the other showcases the province minority cultures. We will see the mummies ( the corps dehydrated in the desert with all of ther cultural features reflecting in their bodies and dresses.
We will stop at the lively market at Erdaoqiao, where anything from Uygur handicrafts, silk carpets to fruits and kebabs are sold.
A 3-hour ride in an air-conditioned bus to Turpan. Lying 154 meters (505 ft) below sea level, the Turpan Basin not only sits in the second largest depression in the world, but it is one of the hottest places in China. Despite its desert location, Turpan boasts fertile land producing cotton and grapes, thanks to the karez, an ancient irrigation system. Upon arrival, excursion to the ruins of Jiaohe, YARGOL, a Han Dynasty garrison that was destroyed by Genghiskhan. In the evening we will enjoy an Uygur dance show.Overnight in Turpan.This hotel is a delightful local hotel. you will find your self surrounded with the treasures of this reagion.

Day 05  Thursday  May 25
We will start the day visiting The Baiziklik  Caves (one Thousand Buddha Caves )show the  extent to which Buddhism spread in  this area . We will stop  at the ancient Astana Tombes. And the Flaming Mountains that seem on fire in the mid-day sun;  Return to Turpan
You will appreciate having an umbrella today because we will be in the heat of the desert
isit  Gaochang  Idikut , one of  China'best  preserved  ancient cities due to the dry, hot climate. Walls of sun dried brick are  40 feet  thick at the  base, suround the ruins. Continue on to Emin Minaret, one of the architectural gems of the Silk Road. Along the way to the ancient sites we will stop and visit vineyard where excellent grapes are growing. Overnight at the same hotel in Turfan

Day 06 Friday May  26  Urumchi
isit Karez that is the attractions of the area and the irrigation system devised by the Uygurs. After lunch, we drive back to Urumqi, Urumqi is a growing metropolis inhabited mainly by Han Chinese and serves as a transport hub for those crossing to Tibet, Pakistan and Central Asia.  Visit the Kazak meadows  where we will see nomadic Kazaks and their tents Overnight in Urumchi

Day 07 Saturday May 27
Late Fly Urumqi- Kashgar.
University Meeting in the morning in Urumchi . Take the Lateest flight to Kashgar
Fly Urumchi - Kashkar
Overnight Kashgar

Day 08 Sunday May 28 
Kashgar Market Kashgar.
Visit to Abakhoja Maoseleum, Sunday Market and Mosque Eidkah. Lunch an Uygur Family in order to learn more about the Uygur Cultural. Situated at the foot of the impressive Pamir mountains, Kashgar was once the key trading post bridging the East and the West. Largely inhabited by the Uygurs, this ancient city is dotted with Muslim architecture and still retains the exotic feel of the Silk Road era. We'll spend most of the day there immersing ourselves in the activities. It's a photographers paradise as food, animals, cloth goods, and metalwork are bought and sold in this vast open-air market. Through our interpreters, we'll learn about the Uyghur people and bargain with them for their handiwork. Here you will encounter some of the many different nationalities who bring their wares into town for trade; Uygurs, Han Chinese, Kazaks, Kirgizs, Tadjiks, Pakistanis, maybe an Afghanistani or two and the occasional western tourist. Every Sunday, around 100,000 people gather in the enormous Kashgar Bazaar area where you can buy anything from goats heads and hoofs to colorful painted wooden saddles. The traditional costumes and food give it an almost medieval feel and bring alive the legends of this epic overland journey along the Silk Road.  

Day 09
Monday May 29th Naryn
Drive to Turgart Pass(167kms) to exit to Kirghizstan Along the way visit a home of an Uyghur family.
Meet the Kirgyz but at the border of China : at China-Kyrgyz “Torugart” border and after all formalities drive to Naryn with lunch boxes  en route. Torugart pass is normally snow-free from May through September. The Torugart-Naryn road is problematic from mid-November to early March. From the Arc de Triumph (China) it is about 7 km to the Kyrgyzstan customs and immigration. Distance is 60 km from Torugart to outer checkpoint and a further 130-km to Naryn. Naryn’s one real claim to fame is that the best quality shyrdaks (traditional, brightly colored felt-applique rugs) in Kyrgyzstan are said to be made here. Dinner and overnight in Naryn.

Day 10
Tuesday May 30th Naryn
Visit the Moslem Cemeteriesvisit with a professor

Day 11 May
Wednesday 31st Issyk gol
Dolan Pass, Yurt visits, Tokoy reservoir, Balikci, Colpan Ata, Aurora Issyk gol
NARYN – ISSYK KUL (300 km, 5-6 hrs)
After breakfast drive to Issyk-Kul Lake through Dolon Pass of 3030 m, the highest point on the Naryn-Issyk Kul road. Usually this season (May-September) the local people "chabans" are putting their yurts on the valleys of Sary-Bulak & Dolon Passes. So you will see the wild life of local people. Lunch en route. Upon arrival at Issyk-Kul transfer to resort for dinner and overnight.

Day 12 Thursday June 1st Issyk gol ( which one of these itineraries do you want Stan
Go around the lake to Karakol, Drive by Kungey Alatau and Terskey Alatau ranges of Tien Shan Mountains ( the Ancient Silk road) Karakol Museum
Issyk gol
Issyk gol
Cholpan Ata Petroglyphs Museum
Grigorievskoe Gorge
Picnic at Aksu Lake  at  2500 meters above sea level ( Total of 180 Km driving)…
Day 13 Friday June 2ndth drive to Bishkek
Burana Minaret ( Gobali- Balasagun) the capital of Karahanid Kingdom. Bishkek Market after lunch Bishkek   
(295 km, 4-5 hrs)
AM. Drive to Bishkek via Burana Tower, Krasnaja Rechka. Burana was the site of Balasagun. It was founded in the middle of the 10 century on the site of an old settlement. The minaret (Burana from Turkish “munara”-minaret), one of the oldest of its kind in Central Asia, was built in 11 century and was originally 45 m tall. Visit Krasnaja Rechka - ruins of ancient city " Nevaket" of VI-XII centuries. Upon arrival sitysiteseing Picnic lunch. PM. Arrive Bishkek and visit Ala-Too Square, Panfilov Park. Ala-Too Square is the Central Square in Bishkek city. The brutal block behind him, once the Lenin Museum, has become theState Historical Museum, with two yurts, a small archaeology exhibit and a beguiling display of Kyrgyz carpets, embroidery and other applied crafts on the ground floor. The unmarked marble palace full of chandelier offices just west of the square, the "White House", is the seat of the Kyrgyzstan government, including the President's office and the republic's parliament. Behind this is Panfilov Park, whose rusting rides and arcades make it the center of Bishkek for kids. Transfer to local restaurant for dinner. Overnight at hotel Pinara in Bishkek

Day 14 Saturday June 3rd Bishkek
Bishkek university
Day 15 SundayJune 4th Bishkek
Museum Visit s the artist
Day 16 Monday June 5thOsh Fly Osh.
Overnight Osh

Day 17
Tuesday June 6thFerghana.
Drive to Fergana via Andijan
Day 18 Wednesday June 7th Ferghana.
Drive to Margilan Rishtan Fergana city
Day 19 Thursday June 8th Tashkent ,
Drive via Kokand to Tashkent

Day 20
Friday June 9ththTashkent
Full day city tour of Tashkent
Kukeltash Madrasa stands in the middle of the modern city as a reminder of the age of the past of this capital. Corsu Market is the heart of the city. All those buying and selling meet at this market in the most colorful way. The crowds of people here move like they are being conducted by the most competent conductor. The result is a symphony of colors and sounds that you will remember all your life.
Applied Arts Museum
Alisher Navoi Park Craft Center
We make sure you see the country through the interpretations of the local artists. Tonight we will have the pleasure of Visiting  Mr. Akbar the potter at his house where we will have dinner
Overnight in Tashkent

Day 21 Saturday June10th  Khiva
Fly  to Nukus to Karakalpakistan
Visit Karakalpakistan Amu Derya
Witness the environmental disaster that Karakalpakistan is experiencing. Meet with the locals at their homes  and their schools to learn more about the destiny of lake Aral.
Cross over the biggest river of Central Asia, Amuderya to enter Uzbekistan.
Overnight in New Urgench.

Day 22 Sunday June 11th Khiva 

Visit the dream like ancient city of Khiva where the blue of the tiles compete with the blue of the heaven.
Lunch at the palace of the former Emir of Khiva. Enjoy Attazebah folk music and folk dance by the local ladies.
Day 23 Monday June 12th Tashkent
Leave for airport to fly to Tashkent
 Overnight at an excellent hotel in Tashkent.
Fly to Tashkent Morning flight University Conservatory Overnight in Tashkent

Day 24 Tuesday June 13th Buchara

Fly to Buchara in the morning Visit Gijduvan , visit Ibn-I sina Museum
Fly to Bukhara. Arrive at Bukhara hotel
Our first stop will be to the city of Ibn- i Sina the father of Medicine for the Central Asian Cultures. The excellent museum is a monument for the respect people still have in Ibn0i Sina after 1100 years
Short trip to Gijduvan to see a local potter and experience a village life.
We will have our dinner at his house with his family Overnight in Bukhara

Day 25 Wednesday June 14th  Buchara
We will start our day with a visit at Nasraddin Hodja's Park, and Lab-i Havuz Mosque. Once you get  oriented to the old city of Bukhara you will have free time for photography.
Lunch at a neighborhood house will be very memorable.
Visit Ark Citadel, Bla Havuz, Masouleum of Samanidz, Minare Kolon, Mir Arap Madrasa.
Folk show in the tim (covered market). Excellent dancing, music at a silk weaving center.
Overnight in Bukhara

Day 26 Thursday
June 15th Buchara
Nak shi Bendi Emir’s Palace

Day 27 Friday
June 16th Shari Sabs
Drive Shari Sabs
10:00 Depart hotel for free time in Bukhara enroute we will have lunch at a Chayhane (Tea House) and visit a school.
15:00 Arrive Shahrisabz where Emir Timur was born.
16:00 Tour of the city (Aksaray and Tombs of Timur's sons), The Marketplace.
Dinner and overnight at Intourist hotel
Over night in Shahrisabz

Day 28
Saturday June 17thSemerkand
Drive to Semerkand

Visit a family for an opportunity to interact with villagers. Picnic lunch.
1Arrive Samarkand
Visit the Mausolem of Timur
Dinner and overnight at Samarkand

Day 29
Sunday June 18th Semerkand
 Our will start with a visit to the Observatory of Ulug Beg , the grand son of Timur
 After we visit Afrosiab Archaeological Museum  we will have a walk through the Shahi Zinde complex of tombs . It is more like a neighborhood of the most beautiful architecture where the tile workers and masons had competed with each other to create the best and most impressive buildings.
Visit the art gallery of Aliyev Eynullah who made the statue of Alishir Nevai in Tashkent.
Lunch at the hotel. Free time for museum visit and market
Meet at the Registan Square, visit the monument's restoration tile reproduction center. Visit the family of our excellent guide for dinner at their village. Dinner at their home is always one of the best experiences during the tour.
Overnight at Samarkand hotel

Day 30 Monday June 19th Semerkand
Seminar at the university

Day 31
Tuesday June 20th Semerkand
Site seeing

Day 32
Wednesday June 21st Tashkent
Train to  to Tashkent
Arrive Tashkent, Free time
Tashkent is the home of one of three Bolshoy Opera/Ballet companies left in the world. We will enjoy the performance of the day and have dinner at the Alishir Nevai Theater. The activities this evening calls for us to be be a bit more dressed up than our daily travel outfits.
Farewell dinner
Overnight in Tashkent

Day 33 Thursday  June 22nd Tashkent
To wind up Tashkent

Day 34
Friday  June 23rd Istanbul
Fly to Istanbul arrive Istanbul at 0925 Free Day dinner

Day 35
Saturday June 24th  Istanbul
City Tour
Day 36 Sunday June 25th Istanbul
City tour
Day 37  Monday June 26th On the train
Ride on the Bosphoros Train Ride to Ankara
Day 38 Tuesday June 27th Ankara
Visit Ankara Museum in the morningUniversity in the afternoon
Day 39 Wednesday June 28thKonya Rumi
Ankara -  Aksaray – Konya
Departing for Konya, stopping en route at a 12th century Caravanserai. Konya is the first capital of the Selcuks, the oldest Turkish Empire in Anatolia. It is also known for being the homeland of Rumi, a 13th century poet-philosopher and one of the earliest humanists. The ambiance of the city has not changed much for the past 800 years.2 Karavan Sarais Sultan Han and Obruk

Day 40 ThursdayJune 29thPamukkale
Konya – Egirdir By the lake Pamukkale Caravan Sarai

Day 41 FridayJune 30th Selcuk
The ancient city of Hierapolis scattered around the natural beauty of Pamukkale was inhabited before and during the early Christian era. St. Paul had played a distinct role in the history of the city when he condemned the people who go in for self mortification and "angel worship." A short drive to Akhan on the Silk road. Our next stop, Miletus is where Paul met the Elders from Ephesus on his last Journey. Here you can almost hear Paul teaching "happiness lies more in giving than in receiving." The Caravan sarai of Miletus, reminds us that we are still on the Silk Road.
Overnight at Selcuk, HOTEL KALEHAN

Day 42 Saturday July 01st Selcuk
Full day excursion to Ephesus. The Basilica of St. John is one of many Christian monuments in the area. Certainly the climax of the day will be at the city of Ephesus. Sitting in the theater visualizing 24,000 Ephesians, following the silversmith Dimitrius shouting "Great is Artemis of Ephesians" in reaction to St. Paul's preaching, "there should be no man made gods."

Day 43
Fly to Istanbul from Izmir and connect to international flight in Istanbul