Day 10 (October 3, 2017)   Khiva


   If we arrive at Urgench in the night train we'll reach the 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 a 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.

Map of Khiva


   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.Tashkent airport

   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 fields.

Urgench - Khiva road

   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.
Hotel Kala entranceOur room in Hotel Kala
   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 there.

Madrasah in Khiva
Khiva wallsNorthern Gate in Khiva
   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 at sunset.
Khiva walls
   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.
Khiva wallsKhiva walls
   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.
Fur hats sale in  Kaltar MinorTea House Bir Gumbaz
   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 quickly. .
Khiva by nightKhiva by night
   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.

Night views of Khiva from hotel terrace