Getting quality sleep has been difficult the past few days and today is no different. The alarm went at 05:00 and the taxi was waiting at 05:30. This time the fee was an acceptable 15.000 SOM.
Tashkent Airport has two terminals, the international terminal which is close to the city and has nice facilities and the domestic terminal that is... around the back. The style is pretty cool though.
Uzbekistan Airways flight HY51 Airbus A320
Learning from our mistakes, we asked the hotel to book a driver for us, who was waiting at the Airport exit. We also bought two data simcards.
Khiva is an old silk-road city located in the south of Uzbekistan. It has an old city called "Itchan Kala" that's surrounded by a wall. It was the last stop for Silk road caravans before crossing the desert to Persia.
Itchan Kala contains many museums and you can visit them all with a single pass that costs 100.000 SOM (~10 Euro).
One of the sites you can visit with the pass is the "Juma Mosque". It's a large open roomed mosque with about 100 wood craved pillars.
There are many alleyways and gates. It's recommended to peak through every one of them, you never know what you may find.
The main streets are pretty crowded with people and hawkers, but just around the corner in a side-alley, you're completely alone.
This morning Onno was feeling a bit under the weather and stayed in until late afternoon, I picked him up for round two around the city.
We climbed the "Islam Khoja Minaret" for 15.000 SOM per person. The stairs are steep and there is just enough room for someone going the other way to squeeze by. There's no lights, except for a few tiny holes in the wall every now and then. At the top the stairs get smaller, not just the steps, but also the height, so watch your head. The view at the top is worth it, though!
Another site not included in the "museum pass" is the "Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum". Pakhlavan Mahmud was a poet, philosopher and wrestler, who apparently never lost a fight. Professional Iranian wrestlers still pray to the great Pakhlavan Mahmud before every fight today. The entry fee is 10.000 SOM.
By this time it's getting late and time for dinner, time to get to the hotel and write... this.