I think many disagree with me, but really I don't find that this winter has been difficult so far! It has snowed quite a lot, and there are still snow-covered roofs I can look out the office window to see here near Amir Temur Street - perhaps 2 inches or even 3 in some places - but it's all gone from streets and sidewalks, melted away.
For the traveler in this country during the winter, it often becomes difficult to negotiate passes and roads in the far reaches of the country. Usually, Ferghana Valley is cut off, as are great huge portions of Karakalpastan. I know from experience that flights coming IN to Tashkent get grounded before taking off if the weather in Tashkent is foul - I mean, flights from one of the UZ airports, at Bukhara or Samarqand or Karshi, for example. Take this into consideration of you're planning to get around by plane during the December through March months.
However, the temperature continues to hover between +5 and -5, and we've been living in a 'cloud city' for at least a week, maybe two! I can't see, from my window on the 9th floor, past perhaps 4 blocks (1/2 mile) - foggy, like we've had clouds descend on the city. It's not unpleasant, in fact it's kind of nice! But I notice folks complaining about it a bit - though locals enjoy saying things like "well at least it's not as bad as LAST year!" Last year was rough, apparently, and the temp didn't rise above 0 for a month or so. Caused havoc on the infrastructure!
Getting around is pretty unchanged - taxis are still available even in the dead of night. My friend Carrie came back through and stayed for a few days before flying out of Tashkent INternational and was able to catch a taxi on Safiski at about 3am - and Ryan had been able to do that two weeks ago at about 4am. Really great to be able to flag down transportation at such an early hour, and in snow and bad weather too. They're both home safe now enjoying the holidays with family - good.
My next entry will feature a report on the snowboarding conditions at Chimgan!
Sleepless in Tashkent