Day 52 – Railing

Urgench, Uzbekistan We’re taking a train back to Tashkent today. As we find out seats, we meet our neighbors: a group of old Uzbek ladies with we’re guessing their grandchildren. Gian starts playing with one of them as they offer us fried cheburek. I try to refuse as I see there’s not gonna be enough…

Day 51 – Sheherazade

Khiva, Uzbekistan After another abundant Uzbek breakfast, we spend the day walking through the streets of the old city, admiring its madrasas, mosques and minarets and getting lured in by experienced sellers of all types of textiles. And as the day ends and we prepare to leave this surreal place to head back to the totalitarian Tashkent,…

Day 50 – Sands

Bukhara, Uzbekistan.  Our morning starts with an awkward situation for Gian, who gets stuck in the bathroom, and lots of laughs for me and Marta. We call the hostel owner who basically has to disassemble the door to finally free Gian! Anyway, crisis averted and we pack our stuff and negotiate a ride to Khiva. As…

Day 49 – Agrabah

Bukhara, Uzbekistan. We arrived in Bukhara last night and I immediately felt like I had fallen into the world of Aladdin. Everything about this city, it’s atmosphere, it’s air, it’s streets is somewhat surreal and as I spent the evening laying on a topchan in the inner courtyard of our hostel, watching the starry sky,…

Day 48 – Sandy Place

Samarkand, Uzbekistan. We start our day with a glorious breakfast served on the upper terrace of the hostel, overlooking the Registon. There’s all sorts of stuff, fruits, cheeses, bread, eggs and so on. As we eat, we make friends with this middle-aged Irish couple who been travelling by car and who’s just arrived by ferry…

Day 47 – Oh Oh Cavallo

Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Time to head to Samarkand! I am excited like a little kid on Christmas eve. This city is just so legendary that I am buzzing with curiosity. I remember when I was in first grade and the teacher would play us this old Italian song by Roberto Vecchioni called “Samarcanda”, which reinterprets an…

Day 46 – Crossing

Chimkent, Kazakhstan. It’s 4 AM and it’s pitch dark. We get off the train and, despite the early hours, Chimkent train station is already buzzing with people engaged in all type of things, old ladies pushing carts filled with packaged food, taxi drivers smoking by their cars, little kids running around and passengers boarding and…

Day 45 – Movers

Bishkek, Kyzgyzstan. Our train is leaving at 12:30 from Bishkek central station today. We’re indeed moving to Uzbekistan, but since there are no running buses nor trains directly connecting Bishkek and Tashkent, we’re gonna have to go back to Kazakhstan, and then take a marshutka from Chimkent to Chernyaeva, which is a walking border, so…

Day 44 – KyrgyzSBAM

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. As we brows to get some information about Issyk Kul lake and the best spots to visit it, we somehow bump into an article about Kyrgyzstan’s national sport: Dead Goat Polo. Yeah, you read that correctly. This “peculiar” pastime basically involves players riding horses and attempting to drag a goat carcass and throw it…

Day 43 – Forty Rays

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. We’re going to Kyrgyzstan today! We head to Sairan bus station early in the morning, buy our ticket to Bishkek for about 1300 Tenge and find our marshutka. A crowd of people, all locals, is already waiting on the platform, and since we know the marshutka’s gonna leave whenever all its seats are…

Day 42 – Canyons

Kazakhstan. We wake up at 6 AM and Symbat has prepared for us an amazing breakfast, so we sit in the living room and enjoy it as we wait for our driver. Jeez this little girl is barely 14 and already has to take care of all the housework, including cooking for guests at 5…