(October 3, 2017) Khiva
If we arrive at Urgench in the night train we'll
city early and will have the entire day to explore Khiva.
First, we'll need to take a taxi to Khiva or, if we don't get
reasoneble rate, to Urgench's bazaar o take the trolley bus.
Both options leave us out of the Walled city, so
we'll need to walk to Hotel Kala, marked at map by the 0.
As we could see already in Bukhara, we got no
choice of getting into the night train so, as an alternative, we
purchased flights from Samarkand to Urgench with link in Tashkent for
this morning. We already booked through the hotel a taxi to the
airport, so we take a big breakfast and even make some sandwiches for
later and start the agenda planned for this morning: we’re in
Samarkand’s airport by 8:30 AM for taking our flight to Tashkent, from
9:35 to 10:25 AM. In Taskent, we’re the only ones that are not leaving
the airport and just change building, from Arrivals to Departures, to
wait for our next flight. At 1 PM the plane takes off and we reach
Urgench by 3:20 PM.
The small airport in Urgench gets empty so quickly that the
only worker there is waiting with me for Eva’s coming out from the
toilet to close the airport after us.
I’m ready for what is next outside: getting
transport to Khiva without being ripped off. I can see some taxis and a
man with a tourist waiting for us. At the moment we’re outside this man
offers taking us to Khiva by 10$ each, along with the tourist with him,
which is not looking convinced. I answer no, because that is not the
price. He replies it’s 70 km and I answer I know what the rate is and
we prefer to take a taxi to get the trolley bus. Knowing there is a
trolley bus is the best for bargain. He tells us what expected: the
trolley bus is not working, but when I answer we’ll see once in the
bazaar and go to the taxis he changes and asks me how much I want to
pay. I answer I won’t go any further than 100,000 soms (10€) for the
trip, the two of us, as I’ve noticed the tourist has already gone. He
happily takes it.
After going through the Urgench to the right exit to Khiva,
the road is endlessly straight with the trolley wires at both sides all
along the way. Landscape is, one more time, mostly taken by the cotton
After a one hour’s ride we reach Khiva and we can see the
walls of the old city, but some works are blocking the road and we’re
leaving the car about 200 meters from it. I thought we were in the side
where the hotel is, but it resulted to be the opposite. As there are no
signs, we ask to a young man which results to be a guide. He is so kind
and takes one bag and takes us to the hotel entrance through the maze
of this old city’s streets asking nothing in return. It’s 5 PM when we
get into our room.
As there is no much time left before dark we leave the hotel
immediately. I’ve got a clear idea about what I want to do now with the
sunset and that’s why I asked in the hotels, with the map they’ve given
to us, where is the stairs to go up to the walls. The place is by the
Northern gate and we can take a taste of this old city in our way to
When we reach the Northern gate, we take the way up to the
top of the Western wall. There is a rough path along the wall, which is
getting narrower in some areas. We follow it amazed by the city views
It ends by Kunya Ark limits, where the best views are, just
by the square in front of the citadel. It’s at the top of Kunya Ark
where we can see people enjoying the sunset views and we presume better
views there. We keep this in mind for tomorrow.
When we are back down it’s time for our dinner as we’re hungry.
Our only lunch today has been the sandwiches we brought from the
breakfast. We stop by Kalta Minor, the most iconic place in Khiva,
because Eva starts to bargain for one of those fur hats, typical from
this area, and she ends by buying it by 20€. Although it looks like a
great price, if we consider how fast the seller has accepted, I think
it was still room to get it lower.
I take advantage of this for asking to the seller for a good place to
eat and he points the Tea House Bir Gumbaz, just in front of us.
We order a sort of starters, all for share, and we like the food
and price, 30000 soms, that much that we promise to come back tomorrow.
When we leave the restaurant is already dark and we walk around to
enjoy the places with lights. Then we ‘re back to the hotel to rest
until tomorrow as we can fill how temperatures are getting colder
In the hotel we’re suggested to follow the stairs up to the top
to enjoy the views and we take warm clothes for this. Up there they
bring us hot tea as a surprise.