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Expert: Carol Meldrum Carol Meldrum

Knitting Traditions of Uzbekistan

Situated in the centre of Asia and on the Silk Road, one of the world’s most important historical trading routes linking China to the Mediterranean, Uzbekistan offers a smorgasbord of culture and colour. Perhaps better known for its textiles, Uzbekistan also has strong knitting traditions, no doubt in part due its cold winter climate. Lacey knitted shawls, socks knitted using the traditional Khorezm pattern and camel hair socks are just some of the knitted items you will see on this tour.  As we pass along the route of the Silk Road we’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Khiva, Bhukara and Samarkand and learn about their knitting traditions through visits and workshops with local experts.  As well as 7 knitting workshops with Carol throughout the tour, there’ll be plenty of opportunity for some retail therapy too, as we enjoy the sights, sounds and aromas of the markets and bazaars throughout our journey.

Your Tour Includes

  • Return economy class flight from London (via Istanbul), 1 piece of checked baggage included (flight tour only)
  • 13 nights half-board accommodation
  • 2 knitting masterclasses with local experts
  • 7 knitting workshops with Carol throughout the tour, kit included
  • Local English-speaking guide to accompany the tour throughout
  • Services of an Arena Travel Tour Manager
Experts
Carol Meldrum

Carol Meldrum

Carol Meldrum is a textile designer, workshop tutor and author of many popular knitting and crochet titles. She is also the creative force behind the fashion accessories label Beatknit. She has worked within the textile industry as a designer for many High Street fashion outlets as well as internationally renowned hand knit label Rowan. Carol is also a successful workshop tutor teaching all aspects of knit and crochet on an informal basis to both groups and individuals.

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Itinerary

Overview

Meet Carol Meldrum and your Arena Travel Tour Manager at London airport for your overnight flight to Tashkent, via Istanbul. Tashkent is the capital and largest city in Uzbekistan.

Overview

We will be met by our local guide and transfer to our hotel. After some time to freshen up, we’ll visit the Applied Art Museum, home to over 7,000 examples of embroidery, skull caps, jewellery and other examples of craftsmanship from the beginning of the 19th century to the present day. Later this afternoon we’ll enjoy our first knitting workshop with Carol at the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Tashkent

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

The three Madrassah's

Overview

This morning we’ll travel to Kokand by train. Kokand is one of the ancient cities of Uzbekistan, and crossroads of two of the main ancient trade routes into the Fergana Valley.   After lunch (not included) we’ll enjoy a city tour. Highlights will include: Khudoyer Khan Palace; built in 1871, is staggeringly grand. Originally consisting of seven courtyards and 119 rooms, sadly only 2 of the courtyards and 19 rooms have survived. Our tour will continue to Vinera angora studio. Wool processing and knitting are one of the many crafts that are passed from generation to generation in Uzbekistan. Vinera Kallimulina is the fourth-generation knitter in her family and has been working with wool for more than forty years. In Soviet times such an occupation would be prosecuted by law but nowadays is one of the most prestigious occupations. In 2012 Vinera received the UNESCO Award of Excellence for Handicrafts. During our visit we will see how this high-quality wool is washed, sorted, spun and knitted. Dinner and overnight in Kokand

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Khudoyer Khan Palace

Overview

Full day knitting workshop with Carol in our hotel  Dinner and overnight in Kokand

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Workshop 1

Overview

This morning we return to Tashkent, where we’ll continue our city tour, including:  - Amir Temur Square; the true heart of the city - Walk on Sailgoh Street - Independence Square; the largest square in Tashkent, more like a park than a square, with several monuments and fountains and filled with trees and flowerbeds. Prince Romanov’s Former Palace, Alisher Navoi Theatre; one of the leading centres of performing arts in Central Asia, Akbar Rahimov’s Pottery School, where we’ll see how the products are made and enjoy tea and orien-tal sweets. The school began in the mid 20th Century and is now run by the founder’s son and grandson. Dinner and overnight in Tashkent

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Amir Temur Square

Overview

We fly to Urgench this morning and continue by road to Topraq Qala and Ayaz Qala, both ancient Khorezm settlements dating back over 2000 years. At Goybu village we’ll visit one of the ancient Khorezmian local houses, Ulli Khovli (Big Yard). This 300-year-old fortress is a farm, breeding camels, horses and poultry. During our visit we’ll see how camel hair is processed and some of the products knitted from this wool. Lunch is included today. Continue to Khiva for dinner and overnight.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

Our full day in Khiva includes:  - Kalte Minor; a large blue tower in the central city square - Madrassah Amin Khan; now a hotel - Madrassah Muhammed Rahimkhan; now a museum of literature and history - Kunya Ark (old fortress) - Juma Mosque - Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum; shrine of Khiva’s patron saint and the holiest site in Khiva. The interior displays an array of Khiva’s famed woodcarving, ceramic painted decoration, metalwork and inlay craft traditions. - Islam Khoja Minaret and Madrassah; the smallest madrassah in Khiva but the highest minaret at 57 me-tres. - Tash Havli Palace - Madrassah Allakuli Khan; now a restaurant We'll also visit the UNDP (United National Development Programme) studios for the development of local handicrafts. Here we’ll see tie-dyeing, carpet making, wood carving and a silk carpet studio which is under UNESCO sponsorship. The studio produces high-quality silk carpets and embroidered textiles using ancient designed from the Timurid dynasty taken from floor tiles and doors in the city.  As we walk around Khiva, we will see women knitting socks with the traditional Khorezm patterns. We’ll end the day with a masterclass where we’ll learn how to start and end the socks, shape the heels and toes and knit the soles. Dinner and overnight in Khiva.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

Today we travel by train to Bukhara, a city rich in historical sites and Uzbekistan’s fifth largest city.  Bukhara’s historic centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.   Bukhara is also a centre for local artisans and during our stay here we will be able to watch many of them at work on a variety of handicrafts including colourful Suzani products and gold embroidery as well as other forms of textiles, clothing, carpets and costumes.   Dinner and overnight in Bukhara

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Bukhara

Overview

Our morning in Bukhara includes:  - Chor Minor; an historic gatehouse for a now destroyed madrassah - Poi Kalyan complex; an Islamic religious complex centred around the Kalan minaret, which dominates the historic centre of the city - Ulugbeg Madrassah; today the museum of history of the restoration of the architectural monuments in Bukhara - Abdulazizkhan Madrassah; now the museum of woodcarving - Trade domes offering goods such as embroideries, jewellery, spices, handicrafts and other Silk Road treasures - Silk Market - Labi Hauz complex; the area surrounding one of the few remaining hauz (pond) in the city, which served as a source of water. The ponds were notorious for spreading disease and were mostly filled in during the 1920s and 1930s. The Labi Hauz complex survived because it is the centre piece of a magnificent architectural ensemble This afternoon we’ll enjoy a half day knitting workshop with Carol in our hotel.  This evening we’ll enjoy dinner and folk show at Rahmon House, where we’ll see a demonstration of cooking plov, a rice pilaf with meat, carrots, onions and spices.  Overnight in Bukhara.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Bukhara Market

Overview

Our tour of Bukhara continues with visits to:  - Ark fortress: initially built and occupied around 5th Century AD, the ark encompassed a town that was inhabited by the various royal courts that held sway over the surrounding region. The Ark remained a for-tress until it fell to Russia in 1920 and currently houses museums covering its history - Bolo Hauz mosque, built in 1712 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - Ismail Samani mausoleum built in the 10th century the mausoleum is an iconic example of early Islamic architecture. It was built as the resting place of the powerful and influential Islamic Samani family dynasty that ruled from approximately 900 to 1,000 - Chashmai Ayub, meaning Job's well, is named according to the legend in which Job (Ayub) visited this place and made a well by striking the ground with his staff. - Magokki Attori mosque, used as a carpet museum - Naqshbandiy complex, one of the most important Muslim shrines - Sitorai Mohi Hosa, the summer residence of Bukhara emirs The day concludes with a workshop with Carol in our hotel  Dinner and overnight in Bukhara

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

This morning we’ll enjoy another workshop with Carol at the hotel, before travelling by train to Samarkand. Samarkand is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia  Dinner and overnight in Samarkand

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

We start the day with an excursion to Urgut bazaar, one of the few remaining traditional bazaars where people from the countryside sell their homemade produce.   On our return to Samarkand we’ll visit the former family home of Avraham Kalantarov, a wealthy Jewish merchant. The building now houses a museum.   This afternoon we’ll enjoy another knitting workshop with Carol in our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Samarkand

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

Our full day in Samarkand includes:   - Ragistan Square; the centrepiece of the city. There are three madrassahs framing the square, Madras-sah Ulugbek, Madrassah Sher-Dor and Madrassah Tillya-Kori. - Happy Bird Handicraft Centre, where we can meet with local artists and shop for souvenirs - Gur Emir Mausoleum, tomb of Tamerlane, his sons and grandsons Dinner and overnight in Samarkand

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Registan Palace

Overview

During our final morning in Samarkand we’ll visit:  - Fine Art Museum of Samarkand; housing a fine collection of textiles and pottery - Afrosiab Museum; dedicated to the history of the city - Shakhi Zinda necropolis; the burial place of royal persons and nobles This afternoon we’ll enjoy our final knitting workshop with Carol at the hotel.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Entrance portal to Gur-e-Amir

Overview

Time to say farewell to Uzbekistan as we travel to the airport for our return flight  Please Note: This tour involves some long coach journeys of up to 8 hours. A good degree of mobility is required due to the amount of walking involved on some of the visits.

Includes Breakfast

Overview

Arrange your own flights to meet our tour.

Overview

We’ll visit the Applied Art Museum, home to over 7,000 examples of embroidery, skull caps, jewellery and other examples of craftsmanship from the beginning of the 19th century to the present day.   Later this afternoon we’ll enjoy our first knitting workshop with Carol at the hotel.   Dinner and overnight in Tashkent

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

This morning we’ll travel to Kokand by train. Kokand is one of the ancient cities of Uzbekistan, and crossroads of two of the main ancient trade routes into the Fergana Valley.   After lunch (not included) we’ll enjoy a city tour. Highlights will include:  - Khudoyer Khan Palace; built in 1871, is staggeringly grand. Originally consisting of seven courtyards and 119 rooms, sadly only 2 of the courtyards and 19 rooms have survived. - Juma Mosque Our tour will continue to Vinera angora studio. Wool processing and knitting are one of the many crafts that are passed from generation to generation in Uzbekistan. Vinera Kallimulina is the fourth-generation knitter in her family and has been working with wool for more than forty years. In Soviet times such an occupation would be prosecuted by law but nowadays is one of the most prestigious occupations. In 2012 Vinera received the UNESCO Award of Excellence for Handicrafts. During our visit we will see how this high-quality wool is washed, sorted, spun and knitted.  Dinner and overnight in Kokand

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

Full day knitting workshop with Carol in our hotel  Dinner and overnight in Kokand

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

This morning we return to Tashkent, where we’ll continue our city tour, including:  - Amir Temur Square; the true heart of the city - Walk on Sailgoh Street - Independence Square; the largest square in Tashkent, more like a park than a square, with several monuments and fountains and filled with trees and flowerbeds. - Prince Romanov’s Former Palace - Alisher Navoi Theatre; one of the leading centres of performing arts in Central Asia - Akbar Rahimov’s Pottery School, where we’ll see how the products are made and enjoy tea and orien-tal sweets. The school began in the mid 20th Century and is now run by the founder’s son and grandson Dinner and overnight in Tashkent

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

We fly to Urgench this morning and continue by road to Topraq Qala and Ayaz Qala, both ancient Khorezm settlements dating back over 2000 years. At Goybu village we’ll visit one of the ancient Khorezmian local houses, Ulli Khovli (Big Yard). This 300-year-old fortress is a farm, breeding camels, horses and poultry. During our visit we’ll see how camel hair is processed and some of the products knitted from this wool. Lunch is included today. Continue to Khiva for dinner and overnight.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

Our full day in Khiva includes:  - Kalte Minor; a large blue tower in the central city square - Madrassah Amin Khan; now a hotel - Madrassah Muhammed Rahimkhan; now a museum of literature and history - Kunya Ark (old fortress) - Juma Mosque - Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum; shrine of Khiva’s patron saint and the holiest site in Khiva. The interior displays an array of Khiva’s famed woodcarving, ceramic painted decoration, metalwork and inlay craft traditions. - Islam Khoja Minaret and Madrassah; the smallest madrassah in Khiva but the highest minaret at 57 me-tres. - Tash Havli Palace - Madrassah Allakuli Khan; now a restaurant We'll also visit the UNDP (United National Development Programme) studios for the development of local handicrafts. Here we’ll see tie-dyeing, carpet making, wood carving and a silk carpet studio which is under UNESCO sponsorship. The studio produces high-quality silk carpets and embroidered textiles using ancient designed from the Timurid dynasty taken from floor tiles and doors in the city.  As we walk around Khiva, we will see women knitting socks with the traditional Khorezm patterns. We’ll end the day with a masterclass where we’ll learn how to start and end the socks, shape the heels and toes and knit the soles. Dinner and overnight in Khiva.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

Today we travel by train to Bukhara, a city rich in historical sites and Uzbekistan’s fifth largest city.  Bukhara’s historic centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.   Bukhara is also a centre for local artisans and during our stay here we will be able to watch many of them at work on a variety of handicrafts including colourful Suzani products and gold embroidery as well as other forms of textiles, clothing, carpets and costumes.   Dinner and overnight in Bukhara

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

Our morning in Bukhara includes:  - Chor Minor; an historic gatehouse for a now destroyed madrassah - Poi Kalyan complex; an Islamic religious complex centred around the Kalan minaret, which dominates the historic centre of the city - Ulugbeg Madrassah; today the museum of history of the restoration of the architectural monuments in Bukhara - Abdulazizkhan Madrassah; now the museum of woodcarving - Trade domes offering goods such as embroideries, jewellery, spices, handicrafts and other Silk Road treasures - Silk Market - Labi Hauz complex; the area surrounding one of the few remaining hauz (pond) in the city, which served as a source of water. The ponds were notorious for spreading disease and were mostly filled in during the 1920s and 1930s. The Labi Hauz complex survived because it is the centre piece of a magnificent architectural ensemble This afternoon we’ll enjoy a half day knitting workshop with Carol in our hotel.  This evening we’ll enjoy dinner and folk show at Rahmon House, where we’ll see a demonstration of cooking plov, a rice pilaf with meat, carrots, onions and spices.  Overnight in Bukhara.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

Our tour of Bukhara continues with visits to:  - Ark fortress: initially built and occupied around 5th Century AD, the ark encompassed a town that was inhabited by the various royal courts that held sway over the surrounding region. The Ark remained a for-tress until it fell to Russia in 1920 and currently houses museums covering its history - Bolo Hauz mosque, built in 1712 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - Ismail Samani mausoleum built in the 10th century the mausoleum is an iconic example of early Islamic architecture. It was built as the resting place of the powerful and influential Islamic Samani family dynasty that ruled from approximately 900 to 1,000 - Chashmai Ayub, meaning Job's well, is named according to the legend in which Job (Ayub) visited this place and made a well by striking the ground with his staff. - Magokki Attori mosque, used as a carpet museum - Naqshbandiy complex, one of the most important Muslim shrines - Sitorai Mohi Hosa, the summer residence of Bukhara emirs The day concludes with a workshop with Carol in our hotel  Dinner and overnight in Bukhara

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

This morning we’ll enjoy another workshop with Carol at the hotel, before travelling by train to Samarkand. Samarkand is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia  Dinner and overnight in Samarkand

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

We start the day with an excursion to Urgut bazaar, one of the few remaining traditional bazaars where people from the countryside sell their homemade produce.   On our return to Samarkand we’ll visit the former family home of Avraham Kalantarov, a wealthy Jewish merchant. The building now houses a museum.   This afternoon we’ll enjoy another knitting workshop with Carol in our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Samarkand

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

Our full day in Samarkand includes:   - Ragistan Square; the centrepiece of the city. There are three madrassahs framing the square, Madras-sah Ulugbek, Madrassah Sher-Dor and Madrassah Tillya-Kori. - Happy Bird Handicraft Centre, where we can meet with local artists and shop for souvenirs - Gur Emir Mausoleum, tomb of Tamerlane, his sons and grandsons Dinner and overnight in Samarkand

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

During our final morning in Samarkand we’ll visit:  - Fine Art Museum of Samarkand; housing a fine collection of textiles and pottery - Afrosiab Museum; dedicated to the history of the city - Shakhi Zinda necropolis; the burial place of royal persons and nobles This afternoon we’ll enjoy our final knitting workshop with Carol at the hotel.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Overview

Time to say farewell to Uzbekistan and for you to return home on your own arranged flight. Please Note: This tour involves some long coach journeys of up to 8 hours. A good degree of mobility is required due to the amount of walking involved on some of the visits.

Includes Breakfast

Knitting Holidays

Knitting Holidays

Specially designed for knitters, this Stitchtopia knitting holiday is the ideal opportunity to meet like-minded knitters and indulge in your favourite hobby. Our talented knitting expert will be on hand throughout the holiday and host inspirational workshops with a beautifully designed project to get those needles clicking!

Accommodation

You will be staying at the Inspira S, Tashkent 3 star for 3 nights, Asmald Palace, Kokand 4 star for 2 nights, the Orient star, Khiva 4 star for 2 nights, Sasha and Son Bukhara, 3 star for 3 nights and the royal Hotel, Samarkand 3 star for 4 nights.