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Published: September 22nd 2016
Today, it's another share taxi, this time to Urgench. The ride is 3 hours...another cheap ride too. I'm dropped at the shared taxi station to Khiva. I'm the only one here and decide 20 minutes later that it's ok, I can pay the full 2.2usd fare for the 25km ride direct to Khiva.
My hotel is in the old city center. No cars here....so I do the last few hundred meters on foot. I'm the only guest at my hotel, with a driver of one of the tourist groups. This place is amazing, and still, there may be maximum 40 international tourists today in Khiva.
Khiva was an old slave trading post. Trust me, you don't see much left of this around. It's more mosques, madrassahs and minarets. The place is so peacuful with nice locals around. I couldn't imagine having this place for myself. You pay a single cheap fee to enter most sites...and there is 2 or 3 places where you need to pay one or two dollars more to go in. I stay here 24 hours, but I could have stay way longer. First time for a little local shopping too....which I
have to admit, I don't do a lot.
From now on, and the coming few days, it will be fun to bump non-stop in the same tourists. Most of them are actually from Europe, and we all love Uzbekistan. I wish I was a better photographer....because this place is just amazing. There are different pictures to take at each hour of the day, depending of the direction of the sun. But once the night is there, the main buildings are nice lighten too...just impressive.
I spend my time walking...sitting, walking and admiring this place. No issue here coming back three time to the same place at three different time of the day, it's always amazing.
I found out that a lot of tourists are flying straight from Tashkent to Urgench, and from here going back East to Bukhara. During my two days here...I saw only one or two groups....the Italian and French....beside this, it's all independent travelers...so yes, Uzbekistan is very easy to navigate on your own.
I would also taste my first plov, the national dish of Uzbekistan. This is fried rice with some meat on top,
and a side salad of tomato and cucumber. Nice....but this is way more a winter dish than a summer one for me. Guess what, during the winter, this place is freezing cold...big time! The Old City is pretty small. Maybe a square miles, but not a lot more. What is even more impressive are the outside mud walls. I had seen pictures on travelblog of those....but seeing these walls just before sunset, with a fresh beer o a terrace, is a simple moment of joy.
One day I should be back, this place is just too amazing. Interesting enough, there is really nothing interesting just outside the walls....but having this place for yourself is just something. I have to admit, the best is to walk, to look around. There is not a lot more to write about it, just enjoy the pictures. I have to admit, this was by far my preferred place in Uzbekistan!
Next, I'm moving again by road to Bukhara!
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