April 20

Our first ancient Silk Road city today – Khiva. We picked ourselves up off the floor of Roma’s restaurant and after a spot of scrambled eggs and sausages we were dropped off at the trolleybus station.  It was a fun ride, as we were 100% the centre of attention, but Uzbek people being a little shy, it took the middle-aged woman sitting to my right to break down the floodgates.  After a small prod and some introductions, firmly establishing my proficiency in Russian at chou-choute, whatever that means, I was able to explain what we were doing on the bus and in Uzbekistan in general, and soon it became a bit of a free-for-all of questions, photos and smiling and laughing.  Uzbekistan is just the best. 

Once we arrived in Khiva we split our time equally between wandering around gobsmacked by the ancient city, taking photos of incredible architecture, artwork and museums and being mobbed by people demanding a photo.  Needless to sat we’re on a lot of people’s cameras, probably labelled as ‘those hairy guys’.  Khiva is a beautiful city, and I can’t do it justice in words or pictures – you have to go there and see.  The thick walls extend all the way around the old city and the inside is a maze of mausoleums, mosques, museums, madrassas, minarets and other equally inspiring m-words.  After spending an incredible afternoon in Khiva, we jumped back on the trolleybus, repeating our first journey – mainly with the attention and the photos again – and when we arrived back at Roma’s place we went back out to get more kebabs from the incredible kebab house, this time with his brother and cousin. 


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