Day12 – Khiva to Nukus

We are traveling to the Republic of Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan. It is the site of the ancient kingdom of Khorezm, called the country of tens thousands of fortresses. Archaeologists have found ruins of dozens of ancient cities, palaces, and thousands of fortresses in this area.

Khorezm is also believed to be the birthplace of Zoroastrianism. On the way, in the distance, we saw a large structure called a Dakhma or Tower of Silence. This place was used by the Zoroastrians to deposit their dead to be eaten by vultures. In this way, they avoided desecrating the earth and fire with the dead bodies.

Day11 – Khiva

Ichan Kala is Khiva’s old city, the inner town. Since 1990, it has been protected as a World Heritage Site. The old town retains more than 50 historic monuments and 250 old houses, dating primarily from the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries.

People still live in the old city, including this little boy.

Day9 – Bukhara

Today we had a tour of the ancient town of Bukhara. The streets are very narrow and some are unpaved.

We visited an interesting structure, built between 892 and 943 CE as the mausoleum of Ismail Samani, an emir of the Persian dynasty that ruled in the 9th and 10th century.

Day8 – Bukhara

Today we drove from Samarkand to Bukhara. On the way, we passed a caravansarsai, an inn on the old Silk Road. Water was piped in from a reservoir a few miles away..

We stopped in Gijduvan to visit the pottery studio of Alisher Nurzullaeyev. He is a seventh generation potter. Here he told us that they add cattails to their clay.