Amid the festivities of Nowruz (Persian New Year), immerse yourself in spectacular history along the fabled Silk Road. Discover superb art, Buddhist and Zoroastrian temples, medieval Jewish quarters, and spellbinding landscapes. Travel from Tashkent, Uzbekistan to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva, unforgettable cities dotted with kaleidoscopic mosques, centuries-old madrasas, and vibrant monuments. Meet artisans at work, including a master marionette-maker creating traditional Uzbek puppets and an Uzbek ceramicist whose family has created wonderful pottery since the 1790s. Explore a centuries-old bazaar in the company of an award-winning Uzbek chef. In Samarkand, enjoy exclusive after-hours access to the ornately decorated tomb of Amir Timur, led by the director. And during Nowruz, visit private family homes in Bukhara for sumptuous holiday meals, and observe rich traditions and ceremonies not often witnessed by travelers. Conclude in Ashgabat to marvel at a diverse array of fine Turkmen carpets in an excellent museum, followed by a private lecture.