6th.October 2019, Nuratau Mountains
Again our programme promised a walk in the morning but there was in any case not much time for this since we had a long drive to Samarkand ahead of us in the afternoon. A walk in a neighbouring valley was proposed for which we had 3 hours available, but the drive there took an hour each way leaving only one hour for walking. The chosen valley also with a small stream was greener and more picturesque than the valley of Sentob with more trees. Some of these were ancient mulberry trees which reminded of the sweet chestnut trees in parts of Ticino. The furthest point we reached was marked by a huge cedar tree which supposedly dates back to the time of Alexander the Great. On the return journey we stopped by a small mosque and also saw a large heard of cattle, sheep and goats being driven by two horsemen.
The relief of the reserve mostly consists of mountains with an abundance of mountain streams. Close to the largest stream Madjerum one can find the thousand-year cedar tree . Its hollow has room for five people and the girth of this tree is over 8 meters. By the legend, it was planted by Alexander the Great over the grave of one of his commanders. Local people say that the tree has healing properties and even is capable of realising cherished wishes. Close to the tree there is an ancient ruined mosque, which is also considered as a magic place, and the fortress Madjerum-Kala, where archaeologists found pottery of 3-4th centuries.