Waiting for Butter in the Stans

3-4 October 2022

The next two days will be a mix of flight and fantasy. Some final beautiful views of Khiva’s gates and fortifications as we drive to the airport; experiencing Uzbekistan security and airplanes; gin and tonic Uzbek style and farewell dinner – all add spice to the mix of traveling in the Stans of Central Asia.


Ichan-Qаl’а – The Walled City of Khiva, Uzbekistan

2 October 2022

Ichan-Qаl’а is the walled inner town of the city of Khiva. In 1990, it was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A day visiting its sites, wandering its narrow streets and squares, and walking its walled fortifications clearly proves why it has earned that honored designation.

Early morning finds me at West Gate, one of four gated entries into the walled city. Ichan-Qаl’а, even with its multitudes of Uzbek salespersons, is an easy city to explore.


Bukhara to Khiva – Looking for Camels and Caravans

1 October 2022

Mosques, madrasas, museums, meals, walks…it is becoming a blur. Don’t ask me where I was two nights ago and expect a quick answer. I drag myself into breakfast at a slower pace. I fruitlessly hope for a good cup of brewed coffee. There is always lunch just a few hours away so I won’t starve. It is another busy day learning about The Stans. I’m beginning to be thankful the original five became four.

Before leaving Bukhara, before facing our long, long drive across the deserts of Uzbekistan, we drive five minutes then are guided through a maze of little alley streets to a final mosque. It is a great site to start the morning.


Bukhara, Uzbekistan- The Dollar Store of Central Asia

30 September 2022

Directly across from our Hotel Asia is the magnificent assemblage of architecture known as Lyab-i-Hauz which has survived unchanged since the 16th century. This area once served as a caravansaray along the Silk Road. It includes the Kukeldash Madrassa, Nadir Divan-Beghi Madrassa and the Khanada or lodging house, all centered around Lyabi Khause lake and it’s really big dead tree. The lake is one of the few remaining hauz or ponds remaining in the city. Today it acts as a bustling, hip social venue for locals and a place to see and be seen. Meager food is replaced by large steins of local draft beers and camels and sheep by ducks and cats…the perfect spot on a hot afternoon in which to contemplate the wonderful sights and sounds of Bukhara.



29 September 2022

We travel by bus for 175 miles west from Samarqand through green agricultural land, quiet sunbaked villages and towns to Bukhara, fifth largest city in Uzbekistan. I am introduced to this major caravan city along the Silk Road, Temur’s second city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – via a puppet show. But first – I must suffer undulating rough roads for five hours in order to get there! During the ride, my Activity Tracker has registered over 5000 steps and 14 floors. Definitely cheating but I’ll take it.



27-28 September 2022

We arrive late to the Asia Hotel, our lodging for the next two nights. Traffic and narrow surface roads are challenging, or as our guide says: “Samarqand is very special for the traffic.” Our hotel is located in historic Old Town and just a few minutes’ walk from the Registan. My kind of place. It is International Tourism Day and we are welcomed with refreshments, all non-alcoholic.