16th April 2019
Travel Consultant Clem has just got back from a trip to Uzbekistan and has a lot to say about this fascinating Central Asian country.
Uzbekistan is not famed for its food, so I had braced myself for an onslaught of fatty meats, breads and plov, however I was pleasantly surprised by the variety available. I liked both the look and the taste of the Khiva speciality of dill noodles.
For me, this was staying in a homestay in Hayat Village in the Nurata Mountains.
This is a fantastic experience as it gives you an insight into the lives of locals who are living in the more remote, rural regions of the country. You feel thoroughly welcomed as you pull up at the house and the grandchildren of the owner of the homestay run alongside the car smiling and waving.
A quick tour around the facilities and the surrounding countryside gives you an idea of the simple way of life in these stunning surroundings. We were joined for dinner by the owner of the homestay which involved us all making vodka toasts in between every course, translated by my guide.
The view from the top of the minaret in Khiva, looking out over the rooftops of this beautiful silk road town, was definitely my favourite view of the trip. Worth the scramble up the dark steep spiral steps to get up there!
Wine tasting at the Khovrenko wine factory in Samarkand.
The story of this winery is interesting with the founder fleeing the country during Soviet rule, but as he closed off and hid his collection, it was then rediscovered several decades later.
The wines, brandies and vodkas can now be tasted along with a quick tour around the attached museum.
Exploring the dramatic hilltop desert citadels near Khiva.
Climbing up the hills to view the remains of these settlements is a great day trip and provides some good variety to your silk road cities trip in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan is a great country for souvenir shopping, with ceramics, embroidery and silk being specialist products from the region.
I got a beautiful plate from the Rishtan ceramist’s family workshop in the Fergana Valley as well as a lovely scarf.
Not packing a proper coat!
The weather in April can still be pretty changeable especially if you are heading up into the mountains.
Pack your water-to-go bottle in an outside upright pocket of your day bag for an easy access and leak-proof way of carrying it.