About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 25 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Monday, 21 August 2017

Day 05: Ashgabat - Mary, Turkmenistan

“I may not be there yet, but I am closer than I was yesterday…”

 Day 5:  15 August 2017 (Tuesday)
Route: Ashgabat - Mary, Turkmenistan
Flight: Domestic flight
Hotel: Mary Hotel, Turkmenistan

Wake-up call was at 3.15 am. A packed breakfast was provided. We checked out at 4.00 am and headed to the Ashgabat Domestic Airport and were subject to thorough checks.  We performed our prayers and had breakfast at the airport departure lounge. The 40 minutes flight to Mary was earlier by an hour.

(The map of Ancient Merv)
(UNESCO State Historical and Cultural Park)

It was warm and sunny in the morning when we arrived in Mary. The bus was already waiting for us at the airport. After luggage clearance we headed to our hotel for a heavy breakfast. About 9.00 am we boarded the bus and went for a half-day tour of the ancient city of Merv, a UNESCO site.

(A replica of copper busts)
(Artifacts from the Ancient city)

The attractions visited in ancient Merv include, the Merv Museum and the remains of historical sites. Ancient Merv is the State Historical and Cultural Park, the oldest and most completely preserved of the oasis cities along the Silk Road in Central Asia. It is located in the territory of Mary and played an important role in the history of the East connected with the unparalleled existence of cultural landscape and exceptional variety of cultures which existed within the Murgab River oasis. It reached its apogee during the Muslim epoch and became a capital of the Arabic Caliphate at the beginning of 9th century and as a capital of the Great Seljuks Empire at the 11th-12th centuries.

(Fortress made of vertical clay logs)
(Onother one of the crumbling fortress)

Gyz Kala Castles are the two crumbling 7th-century fortresses outside the walls of Merv. The interesting stockade walls composed of vast clay logs placed vertically side by side. They were constructed by the Sassanians and used by Seljuq sultans, as function rooms.

(The remains of a castle)
(Waiting for the bus in a hot afternoon)

Gyaur Kala Castle are square with the hills of towers put at identical distance from each other. The length of each wall is about 2 km. Each wall had a gate. The road from the south to the north goes directly from the southern gate to the ramparts of Erk-Kala opening way to the citadel and runs further around it to the northern gates.

(Sultan Sanjar Mausoleum)
(A huge decorated dome)
(The grave in the middle of the hall)

The Tomb of Ahmad Sanjar was built in Merv in 1157, following the death of Ahmad Sanjar, sultan of the Great Seljuk Empire. It is reported that his tomb was the site of pilgrimages.

(Mohammed ibn Zeid Mausoleum)
(Another mausoleum, small and cute)

Mohammed ibn-Zeid Mausoleum is an outstanding monument of Sultan-Kala. It is relatively small but arouses admiration by its original architecture. The interior of the mausoleum has a unique wall inscription in Arabian language. The letters skillfully carved from burnt bricks boldly stand out on the background of the vegetative pattern made of plaster. Mohammed ibn - Zeid was the descendant of Caliph Ali.

(The newly restored complex)
(A small minaret in the complex)
(A pilgrimage site in Merv)
(Yusuf Khamadani grave)

Yusuf Khamadani Mosque Complex was built on the burial site of Abu-Yakub Yusuf ibn Ayub born in the city of Hamadan, Western Iran. His mausoleum was newly restored and the reconstructed tomb of the dervish symbolizes a crypt from black marble decorated with a floral ornament and inscriptions. There is a chapel in the western corner of the mausoleum with central aivan. It is the basic part of the complex. Today Yusuf Khamadani mosque is an important Muslim temple, the place of worshiping.

(A place for the qurban)
(Steaming tasty lamb soup and bread)
(Having the meals with the locals)
(The Turmenistan gentlemen)
(Pretty Turkmenistan ladies)

At Yusuf Khamadani Mosque Complex we visited the place where they performed the sacrifice of animals for qurban or nazar. We were lucky to be invited to taste their cooking and joined them in reciting the prayers for those who were preparing for the journey to perform the Haj.

(The tombs were under restoration)
(The history of the tombs)
(One of the two tombs)

Mausoleum of two of the Ashabs of Prophet Mohammed, Bureid ibn Al Khusseib Al-Aslami and Al-Khakim ibn Amr Al-Gifari. After the death of the Ashabs, their tombs became local sanctuaries. The tombs from black marble are decorated with exquisite relief carving with inscriptions.
(Abundance of salad and fruits)
(No photography in the museum)
(Mary blue dome mosque in the background)

We returned to Mary for a good delicious lunch at Sapak Restaurant. After lunch we checked in the hotel and after a short rest, eight of us visited the Mary Historical Muzeum. The museum has about forty thousand exhibits related to the history of the region.

(The Zelyoni Bazaar)
(Buying t-shirts for souvenirs)
(Colorful Turkmen cotton)

Later with the rest of the group we visited the Green Zelyoni Bazaar, a short distance from our hotel. One can get a feel of the local colours and wonder into interesting back alleys to look for some souvenirs. It was not that crowded at the time of our visit. When there was nothing for us to buy, we walked back to the hotel and had a short rest before dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Tonight we slept early and rested well. Happy Birthday yang...

(A 5-star hotel in Mary)
(A spacious comfortable room)

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