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12 travelers at this place

  • Day5

    The trip to Nukus

    May 12, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Up today for a 4 hour drive south to Nukus. Amazing there were a few spits of rain as we left Khiva but it was still a balmy 33degrees.
    My driver was a teacher of Russian who also drives for tourists, he is the second person I have spoken to recently who said they preferred life under the soviets , I think it is a product of his generation as all the younger people I have spoken to say they would not want to live under the Soviet regime.
    I got dropped off at the ruins of the 1st century capital of the region Toprak Kala which was interesting, further down the highway we turned off and I was dropped at the ruins of an ancient Zoroastrian temple of the wind. I got there at the same time as another car which was a coincidence as we were in the middle of nowhere, the two girls in it were Germans, we climbed to the top together, they were interesting to talk to. I then met up with them at the museum in Nukus and let them share my guide .
    This evening I walked to the bazaar which was heaving with people out after the worst of the heat of the day had gone.
    Nukus is the 6th largest city in Uzbekistan, but seems to lack real soul.
    Tomorrow I’m off to Turkmenistan to camp by the Darvaza gas crater, so guess I won’t be doing anything on the Internet then, it will be interesting to see what the internet is like in Turkmenistan as it’s a pretty closed country and I’m told by others I’ve spoken to it’s quite like North Korea in that you have to have a guide watching over you whenever you are outside the hotel.
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  • Day246

    Schiffsfriedhof als Mahnmal

    December 6, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☀️ 2 °C

    Dieser SchiffsFriedhof soll als Mahnmal dienen, Er liegt in einer kleinen Stadt, diese lebte einst vom Fischfang und dessen Verarbeitung. Seit dem das Wasser zur Bewässerung der Baumwollfelder genutzt wurde ging der Wasserspiegel des Aralsees zurück. Er schrumpfte auf ein Viertel der ursprünglichen Größe. Da bis heute die Felder von dem Wasser bewässert werden wird er noch weiter versalzen und schrumpfen. Man lernt scheinbar immer erst dann aus Fehlern, wenn es schon lange zu spät ist.Read more

  • Day17


    September 17, 2017 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Einst profitierte Moynak stark von seiner direktem Lage am Aral-See. Doch durch Projekte der UdSSR trocknete der einst viertgrößte See der Welt aus.
    Während der Rückfahrt geht unser Auto kaputt. Aber durch die 2-3 Stündige Verzögerung erleben wir den Sonnenuntergang außerhalb der Stadt in der Wüste.Read more

  • Day3

    Lunch in Yurt camp

    April 15, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

    After coming down from the fortress, we pay another visit to our camel friend and then proceed to the yurt camp: lunch is awaiting us! 😋

    Yurts are huge circular tents with a conic roof made of goat skins. When enter we are stunned: the inside is incredibly bright even if the only source of light is a tiny wooden door. The floor and the sides of the tent are covered with beautiful red carpets, while the roof is sustained by thin red wooden sticks. The whole yurt is set up for dining: three long and very low tables have been placed on the floor and all around them there are colourful sitting cushions.

    As soon as we all sit around a table a lovely local woman starts bringing us food: salads, bread, a lovely rice soup and some yummy beef meat with
    pumpkin, cabbage and potatoes. At the end of the meal Said prepares for us some coffee using a weird machine he brought from home. I am not a coffee fan, but my parents swear it was excellent!

    Now that we have full stomachs, Said explains more about these traditional tents. Yurts can be opened during summer on the sides, while in winter the tents are heated with fires put in the middle of the yurt. When the fire is on, the top of the tent is opened to let the smoke go out. Once the fire is over, the tent is closed again and stays warm for a week! Before reaching Samarkand we will spend a night in a yurt camp... I just can't wait! 🤩

    On the way back to our van Noha spots a super cute black lamb and we then try a panoramic swing we a stunning view on the fortress and the surrounding desert. This place will be stuck in my memory for a while...
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  • Day3

    Toprak Kala (Clay Fortress)

    April 15, 2019 in Uzbekistan ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    Today we have the tour of the ancient fortresses. After breakfast we drive for 80km towards North-East finding ourselves in a desert of mud, sand and salt. We are really close to the Aral Sea Region and the soil here is extremely salty.

    Before reaching our first destination we stop at what is apparently the only toilet facility in the area. The "facility" consists of a mud-brick building in the middle of nowhere, opposite a Yurt camp. I cannot believe that we are just an hour away from the super modern Tashkent!

    After a few minutes we reach a low hill on which we can see the defensive walls of an ancient fortress: it's Toprak Kala, literally the "Clay Fortress".
    This construction was indeed erected in the early 300s AD entirely with clay and mud bricks. It was discovered by the Russians during the USSR times and all the artifacts are now in museums.

    We start walking up the hill stepping on sand, mud and a lot of salt. Once we reach the top we can clearly see the remains of corridors, rooms, palaces and watch towers. Said explains that this fortress was constructed as one of main settlements of Elikkala District in the Karakalpakstan region, which is an independent Republic within Uzbekistan.
    There were many fortresses because overtime they were abandoned as not safe anymore.
    In this fortress there was a Royal Palace, with reception and coronation hall as well as rooms of Royal family.
    Every 20-30 meters there were watching towers connected with defensive walls. Windows had a special form which was changed after Alexander The Great. There was also a religious place of pre-Islamic period: Zoroastrianism.
    There were many wall paintings and we can still see the niches where the paintings used to be. The Fortress had a lot of water storage places.

    Said gives us 15 minutes to climb up and take pictures. The archaeologists built some steps to ease the climbing but in some areas we have to step on slippery clay powder. Nonetheless the view from above is truly stunning: all around us is a desert with some blue-looking mountains far away!
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