We did not stay long in Tashkent before we started to make a move to one of the great silk road cities of Uzbekistan. Our first stop, and a personal highlight for me, was Khiva. The city is practically in the middle of nowhere, almost a thousand miles away from the nearest sea, lying between two deserts and lying close to the border with Turkmenistan. It is so remote that it’s an arduous 16 – 18 hour drive to the capital, Tashkent and the nearest city with at least a million people is two countries away, in Iran. It is impressive to think that this city was once part of the silk road – magic carpets could have been necessary to bring people here back then!
all that’s missing is a genie in a lamp and khiva could very well be another potential location for Aladdin
It is no surprise that this medieval desert city has been maintained very well despite the forces of time. Khiva itself is a city of 50,000 people. Though no longer as isolated as it used to be, we still had to take a 1.5 hour flight from Tashkent to the nearby city of Urgench, and then take a 1 hour car ride just to get there.