Sunday, 26 August 2012

from Urgench to Khiva

we started at 11:30 am to easy 35 km . it was quite cold, 31 degrees ;-). after two hours of cycling (avs 18,8) we arrived in Khiva. we had the option to stay at a new hotel with 80 USD per night but we found a small and beautiful one in front of the old citywall. the Hotel "Alibek" is run by a very friendly family and some of them speak English fluently. some globetrotters from Europe stay here, too. the atmosphere is more familiar than in the business hotels and it is, by the way, cheaper. the Uzbekistan currency is Som. 1 Eur are usually 3000 Som but it depends on the exchange rate on the "free" market; changing in a bank or hotel is not recommended. you can imagine that you have to carry tons of notes with you for a small amount. paying with US Dollars is better.
we had the possibility to do our laundry with their washing machine. clean clothes after the desert. what kind of luxury !! we will stay two nights, tomorrow sightseeing, no hurry :-)
this is one of the unexpected things we always have on this trip. in the evening we had a delicious dinner at the restaurant "Silk Road". just at the moment we wanted to leave it, a small group of German tourists entered the restaurant. as they heard about our kind of travelling they invited us to join them. there was a couple from Munich which have seen many places in the
world and told us many stories, too. then a video show started, which gave more information about Khiva and the region. what a funny end of this day!

we had a small but delicious breakfast and then went to the old city. what a beautiful and very old city!! 2500 years old !! amazing! after a small lunch at a lovely restaurant we went back to our hotel. three German guys had some tea, Axel from Karlsruhe and Christoph from Berlin, on holiday, but working for Air Berlin; Thomas joined us a little bit later. a very funny afternoon due to the fact that Axel knows a former collegue of me:-).
in the we visited the preview of the celenrations for the 21st anniversary of the Republic of Uzbekistan. a beautiful show !
tomorrow we have to leave Khiva to direction to Buchara, the next city at
the Silk Road. it is 300 km and perhaps we go by autostop again, otherwise we would not have the possibility to visit it there and in Samarkand. so long !

picture with donkey: the local "donkey-express" transporting fresh harvested cotton.

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