Ancient City Of Khiva

Trip Start Oct 11, 2011
Trip End Oct 31, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Malika Kheivak Khiva
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Uzbekistan  ,
Thursday, October 20, 2011

    At the airport i was met by Saddidrine, my driver for the remainder of the tour.  After a quick lunch, we headed off to the Khiva hotel to unload my bags and and meet up the Mohamed, my tour guide for the day.   
     The hotel was absolutely gorgeous and the view was stunning.  At about two o'clock we started off on the tour, beginning with a brief history of the Koujand Empire.  Khiva was the capital city before it's annexing by the Russian empire in1873 during The Great Game, the name given by British intelligence officer Arther Conolly for the British and Russian strategic rivalry of the time.  We headed through the gates of the old city to view the Djuma Mosque and Itchen Kala. As impressed as I was with the architecture and restoration, Mohamed was less please, taking the stance that they should leave the monuments to show their age with time and not to be glossed over with new paint.
     The Tash Khauli courtyard/harem had some stunning tile work and featured the swastika in the stonework, a remnant of the regions zoroastrian past.  After viewing many of the monuments and finishing at the Pakhlavan Mahkmud Mausoleum, we then proceeded to view some of the local craft masters at work.  From carpenters and metal-smiths, to the women working the silk loom.  We finished off with tea and a discussion of the accomplishments and downfalls of our respective countries. I found it interesting that his friend made his living by collecting the plastic bags tourists throw away in order to sell them to the locals.  Apparently in Khiva, plastic bags are an expensive luxury when bought at the stores, so they have developed a black market for them.  
    As night fell, I snapped some pictures as i headed to the hotel to unload souvenirs before heading right back for dinner at the Khorizim Art Restaurant. The food was good but selection was lacking.
Following a wonderful breakfast in the hotel, joined by a busload of Israeli tourists, Saddadrine readied the car for our departure. 
    The drive out of Khiva to Bukhara was nothing less than painful.  Three hundred fifty kilometers too over ten hours of nonstop driving.  Uzbekistan is currently revamping this major highway, and in the meantime the alternative route is comparable to a rally course. 
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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