Dushanbe! 

Much like our other extended city stays, our time in Dushanbe has largely been a mix of watching the olympics on the high-speed wifi and (when I could drag Paddy away) trawling the bazars and shopping centres to replace lost gear. 

We also submitted our application for our final visa – Turkmenistan – we just hope we are successful.

We both came down with stomach bugs during our stay in the city but we thankfully found a really nice hostel to recouperate in and enjoyed cooking homemade lesagne and blackberry and apple crumble which – thanks to three lovely Irish lads we met – we washed down with Barry’s tea.

We visited the national museum which is fairly interesting…

flag of the national emblem in the national museum
We learnt A LOT about the current president Enomali Rhamon who has been in the top job since 1994 (3 years after the country declared independance from the Soviet Union) leading the ever dominant People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan.

There is a whole room dedicated to him in the museum. Here he is holding some large melons…

And again looking presidential while pressing a button…

We took a walk along the gardens admiring the crown topped Building of Nations:

And took a visit to the second largest flag pole in the world (it was the first until a taller one was built in Saudi Arabia).

While walking over the lake I dropped the lens cap into the water so we had to enlist the help of the nice pedalo owner to get it back…

Another day we visited the very beautiful botanical gardens. It happened to be a Sunday and there were about 40 weddings going on all across the park. We enjoyed watching all the couples having extended photo shoots in and around the many wooden pagodas.

This couple held this pose for at least 5 minutes…

Afterwards we treated ourselves to another curry and washed it down with the local beverage – vodka shots.

All the ladies in Central Asia wear the same matching tunic and trouser combo and as I would be needing some looser clothing for Iran I had my own made up for me by this lovely lady in the bazaar. The fabric and the tailoring cost a total of £10!

We’ve decided that tomorrow we will leave for the Uzbekistan border despite not having heard the outcome of our Turkmenistan visa (we’ve already waited 10 days). There is a chance we will be sent a confirmation email for a visa on arrival but we have so little faith in the Turkmen visa system that we’re not holding out much hope.

If we don’t hear then we will be forced to cycle/hitch/train to Aktau in Kazakhstan where we can get a cheap air ticket to Tehran instead.

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8 thoughts on “Dushanbe! 

  1. You definitley should have your emails made into a book Annie. They are a really great acount of how your journey is going. The Autumn is starting in Ireland though there are sunny days too but not to hot. I’m really looking forward to seeing you both when you are home.
    Lots of love,
    Mary Christine xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi guys, Julian from Hello Hostel in Dushambe here 🙂

    I was wondering how your Turkmenistan visa turned out. Ever received anything? I am in a similar position to yours “we don’t have an answer, give us your eMail”. Meanwhile I am seriously pressed for time.

    May the winds always blow in the right direction.

    Cheers!

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    1. No answer still so we are assuming it is not happening. We will book flights from Kazakhstan by the end of the week… Hopefully yours will turn out better. Let us know if you decide to drive through Afghanistan and keep in touch. A&P x

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      1. Yeah, I am getting my Azeri visa too. Guess it’s the ferry for me then.

        Afghan embassy in Dushanbe requires Letter of No Objection from German embassy, full knowing that they don’t issue them. Too bad.

        In Samarkand atm, Bukhara from Friday. I’ll be looking out for really long bikes 🙂

        Best of luck!

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      2. Arghh that’s a shame! The ferry will be fun! We just arrived in Samerkand so presume we’ve missed you? Let us know if you find a good cheap place to stay in Bukara.

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      3. I’m at the Grand Nodirbek, which is cheap and rooms are pretty good. Walked by Rustam & Zukhra, looked OK too. There’s *loads* of Hotels (and tourists) here though. Try to haggle.
        Save travels!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yeah, me too. Apparently everybody got the mail on Sep. 1. Haha.
        I just arrived in Baku this morning though. Ferry was a… breeze (lol) actually. But I’m happy for you you get to go now.

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