We finished our tour of Uzbekistan by visiting Khiva, a small city of 50,000 people. On our first day, Mehmet (our travel guide) arranged for a private performance of traditional music. Though these trips usually produce some very nice photography, it is sometimes a bit of a scramble as everyone wants the same basic photograph (center image above).
Another stop was at Tash Hauli, the summer palace of the Emirs of Khiva. A family band there also performed Horezmian music and dance. Mehmet (our tour guide) is seen enjoying a cup of tea center-top above. At one point, Marla (one of the members of our touring group) joined in the dance (upper right).
Itachan Kala is the ancient inner city of Khiva, which is surrounded by the remnants of the original wall. We wandered around much of the wall, catching details from different angles. The outer side of the walls were sloped, making it more difficult for invaders to breach. The Eastern wall was also covered by numerous grave tombs, which helped provide still more invader barriers.
Most of the minarets and mosques are of similar design to others in the region. There was one ancient mosque though, created with wooden pillars scavenged from numerous other sites, so that each was a different design (upper-right and lower-middle).
Doors are often interesting in these very old cities, and this time they caught our eye enough to capture several of them in the images above.
It is interesting to see the various signs, and try to figure out what they mean. Sometimes they are purely in English (like the Burger sign upper left), and easy to follow. Occasionally they are multilingual, with Uzbek, Russian and English (lower left and middle right), so it is again easy to figure out, and you can then compare to the other languages. Many times, they include a picture, so even though only in Uzbek (lower middle and lower right), you can still make a good guess at what is intended. Then there are those that are solely in Uzbek, where unless you can read Uzbek, you are just left to wonder (upper right).
Once more, we will leave with some images of the people we met along the way. As we leave Uzbekistan (will be in Kyrgyzstan tomorrow), it will be the people we remember the most.
And one last memory of Uzbekistan, when one of our photography group joins in on the dancing (1 min, 50 sec)…