From Nukus it was not far to Khiva, the first historic city on our route along the ancient Silk Road. We crossed the Amudarya River on a wobbly pontoon bridge and rumbled for two days on potholed roads through the Khoresm Oasis. The roads were lined with mulberry trees, (cotton) fields were tended by hand, and many children waved cheerfully at us.

Aktiviere Karte Deaktiviere Karte

The old city of Khiva is no longer permanently inhabited. Inside the city walls there are almost only lodgings, souvenir stores and of course the very picturesque minarets, mosques and madrasas (Islamic schools).

A few steps outside the old town we found a room in a guesthouse with its own balcony and private bathroom and were lucky with it… Already since Nukus I had pain in my ears and with swallowing. At first we suspected a normal cold. In Khiva, (Dr.😉) David recognized the symptoms that were becoming stronger and diagnosed me with mumps infection (despite vaccination). The swollen salivary glands were remembered by David because he had gone through the disease as a child. Instead of the planned two, we stayed five nights in Khiva until my painful hamster cheeks🐹 had healed. While I isolated myself in the room, David enjoyed the quiet and read a book on the balcony😊.

The four-day drive on to Bukhara once again offered a lot of desert and little variety. Unfortunately, in Uzbekistan the restaurants or roadside snacks are not to our taste and therefore not rewarding milestones. We hardly found any dishes with vegetables and/or without meat. The freshly baked dumplings (somsa), which can be bought everywhere, are practically always filled with meat and contain fat pieces from fat-tailed sheep, which are considered particularly tasty…😉

Once again in Bukhara, we lodged in a pleasant guesthouse and enjoyed our time strolling around and taking pictures. As in Khiva, there were numerous souvenir shops in or next to the beautiful buildings. Very artistic handicrafts are produced here and sold directly to tourists. We were barely able to resist the temptation of a carpet purchase😊.

On the way to Samarkand, after 2000km of flat land, it was finally going up and down again. We were really happy about the (small) climbs and descents! But with the traffic, bad roads and endless villages, the route was quite tiring. Despite the fact that we are guests here in Uzbekistan and would like to meet the people in a friendly and respectful way, this was sometimes difficult for us: After the obligatory “At Kudat?” (from where?) was followed (just as obligatory) by the question about the children. Several times a day we explained that we had no children and tried to return the pitying looks with a smile. Although the country is visited by many tourists, it is unimaginable for the locals that couples of our age do not have children… But whenever we are sick of the traffic, the roads and the exhausting crowds, we meet particularly lovely people!

This was also the case at the guesthouse in Samarkand, where we spent our last days in Uzbekistan, visiting the impressive old city and looking for vegetarian somsa😊.