Anyway, we made it to Bukhara and we went to look for the hostel, in this case Madyna & Ylios guesthouse, a small place in the Old Town next to the covered bazar. Madyna welcomed us but with not much time for chatting as it was around noon, we just paid her (75000 soms), left the stuff and went to the street. It was lunch time and all the shops were closed, so first thing we did was going to have some lunch in a small restaurant next to the main old town square.
After lunch, we went to the square, a beautiful one with two medressas, a pool and some fake camels standing there. There's also an ancient mosque to visit and a funny statue of a guy riding a donkey.
From the square we walked through some narrow streets towards the Chor Minor, one of the most beautiful sights of the town. It is a mosque with 4 minarets but looking quite Indian. it is set in a tiny hidden square and we spent some 20 minutes taking pictures there.
From the main square, we entered the covered bazar. Beautiful, with small souvenir stalls and really nice shopkeepers. from there, a street leads to the main sights of Bukhara: two medressas, the Kaylan Minaret and the square with a mosque and another medressa surrounding it, the fortress and yet another mosque, especially nice as it is standing on wooden columns. This walk from the bazar to the fortress is one of the most beautiful you will ever have in a town. At the end of the street you have impressive buildings with blue-tiled domes on the right and on the left, then you get to the small square with the tall Kaylan minaret, from there to the fortress.... Simply beautiful. And the town is so well preserved that you really feel you are in the Silk Road times. Bukhara is everything you expect from a Silk Road town. The only pity was that we couldn't go up the minaret neither the water tower next to the fortress. They were both closed, so we didn't have the chance to have some aerial views of the town.
So, again early morning, we took a marshrutka to the train station and then a 4 hour train to Samarkand. When we got there, the first thing was trying to book a tran ticket for the following day to Tashkent, as from there we had to go to the border with Tajikistan on our last day in the country. There were no suitable trains available, so we would have to think about another option: going by taxi to Tashkent and from there to the border.
From the railway station we took a taxi to the chosen hostel, but it was a bit far from the center and with electricity shortages, so we decided to go to another one for the same price but only 200 m from the Registan, the main sight in Samarkand.
We spent like two hours in the Registan before heading to the other main sights of Samarkand. Unlike Bukhara, when you walk from sight to sight you don't feel that Silk Road feeling that much, as most of the city is renovated, that is they have newly-paved streets and so on, so it lacks that charm a bit and it feels the ancient sites are separated, not a whole as in Bukhara.
Anyway, from the mosque we went to Shah-i-Zinda mausoleum, to a nearby mosque similar to the one in Bukhara (the main difference was that in Bukhara it was for free and here it was a holdup) and then to Samarkand's main bazar, where we could taste the famous, although nothing special, Samarkand Non (bread). For the end of the day we left the Gur-e-Amir mausoleum, where Timur is buried. Timur was the ruler who ordered the construction of the main buildings standing now in Samarkand.
The last day in Uzbekistan was a transportation day to make it on time to Khujand, Tajikistan. We started at 6 in the morning by waking up, and taking a taxi to the place where shared taxis are leaving to Tashkent. The ride took us 3 hours. Once in Tashkent, another taxi to a bazar to take a 1,5 hour bus which dropped us on the road next to the border with Tajikistan. A short walk and we were about to leave Uzbekistan after an exhausting but really rewarding and worth 3 days of express sightseeing.
All in all, Uzbekistan was a totally worthwhile experience. Bukhara and Samarkand are two beautiful cities in where to experience the Silk Road feeling, although if to choose, always go for Bukhara: nicer people, nicer atmosphere and not money-lovers as in Samarkand. And even if Samarkand has the name and the fame (and the Registan), I personally prefer Bukhara as a whole. The only bad feeling about the trip was not being able to visit Khiva and, in a lower scale, Tashkent, but Uzbekistan is one of those places that we'll maybe come back in the future.
Don't forget to check the travel guides of Bukhara and Samarkand as well as the picture gallery of both cities!