A Historic Harem And A Quirky Minaret.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Where I stayed
Islamabek Hotel.

Flag of Uzbekistan  ,
Friday, June 10, 2011

The Kalta Minor Minaret in Khiva looks like a bejeweled turquoise and gold....... Nuclear Reactor!
We've seen plenty of reactors on this trip so we know the shape well.

When the Khan, who commissioned the building of this minaret died, work ceased, leaving it at 26 metres when it should have been 71 meters, and the shape somewhat like a nuclear reactor. During our time in Khiva we used it as a meeting place and referred to it as the "Nuclear Reactor". I think the Khan would have turned in his grave!

Our trip from Bukhara to Khiva was an arduous 10 hour bus trip over rough roads and through very unforgiving desert. On arrival at our hotel we found we had no hot water, couldn't lock our door properly and although promised on their brochure, no Internet access. Our discontent over this soon vanished however when we ventured out into the gorgeous compact and well preserved central heart of Khiva.

It has become our favourite city in Uzbekistan.

Khiva is a labyrinth of mosques, palaces, tombs, narrow alley ways and traditional houses, within ancient 10 metre high city walls. For a bit of spice in this mix, Khiva also has a well preserved harem, dating from the 12th century.  

We enjoyed time wandering around on foot and had a wonderful walking tour with a local guide, called Temur, the same name as a past major ruler in Uzbekistan. At sunset we climbed up to a turret of the fortress wall, for an excellent view of Khiva. We were amused to find a music video being filmed and enjoyed watching the lip syncing and gyrating.

Tomorrow we say goodbye to the rest of the tour group who are travelling on to Turkmenistan and Iran, while we fly back to Tashkent. 
Footnote: Itchan Kala is UNESCO World Heritage Listed.
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