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Upcoming Travel Adventure

I’m so excited! I’ll be going on a great travel adventure this summer. It began as an idea for researching the origins of crochet. It’s often speculated that it all began in the Mediterranean world, and Turkey seemed like a key region

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Treasures of Bukhara

The road from Samarkand to Bukhara is lined continuously with thriving farmland where cotton, fruit, vegetables, and tobacco are grown. Cars share the highway with donkey carts, often driven by children and piled high with melons or other goods under blankets. Occasional villages border the road, but only the outer walls can be seen.

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The Riches of Samarkand

Though my main destination was the High Pamirs of Tajikistan, I couldn’t imagine coming to Central Asia without seeing the famed exotic cities of Samarkand and Bukhara in Uzbekistan. My trip in Uzbekistan was arranged by Elenatours, represented by a Russian named Boris.

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Sarajevo Out of the Ashes

My first stop on this trip is in the beautiful and historic city of Sarajevo in Bosnia Herzegovina. Surrounded by mountains and divided by a river, this ancient city ruled first by the Turks and then the Austro-Hungarians, was heavily pounded during the struggles of the 1990s.

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Pamirs Day Two

The next morning I was able to see the stunning mountain setting in which the Pamir House sat. We had breakfast on the outdoor “bed” that serves as a combination sleeping and eating area in most households, different pieces of cloth and pads placed upon it as the occasion arises. I drank, perhaps too amply, a bowl of milky tea with melted butter.

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Pamir Day Three

My primary reason for coming to the Pamirs, the eastern mountainous region of Tajikistan, was to learn more about the mysterious jurabs — colorful socks — made by the women there. I had a strong hunch that they were a far older form of crochet than what is known in the west. The region is remote and few people knew of these socks.

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Pamir Day One

After crossing the border into Tajikistan I stayed in the town of Penjikent, where there are some historic sites, that, sadly, I didn’t get to see. The hotel was a dilapidated ex-Soviet hotel that seemed to have no other visitors, OK but a little creepy. To cheer myself up I put on my brand new silver slippers that I bought in Urgut.

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Pamir Day Four

Khorog is a lovely small city with one good restaurant along the river. I took Yorali to lunch there and we spoke at length about how I could lend support once home, and how we might be able to arrange a longer visit for me in the future. Then Zuhro took me to the Khorog museum, where I knew there were old Pamiri socks I must try to photograph. We were greeted by an unkempt fellow with bottle-thick glasses who did not seem inclined to grant my request.

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On Top of the World in Gjirokaster

Today I’m bound for the town of Gjirokaster, in the south of Albania. I learned about this marvelous…

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My Dubrovnik Dream

After considerable stress over non functioning cash machines and overpriced taxi rides, I catch a bus from Mostar to Dubrovnik next afternoon. We drive along the impressive Adriatic coast, where a string of islands obscures the horizon. It’s very picturesque, but the frequent resorts climbing up from the beaches

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