Khiva is an old walled city, dating back centuries. There are high, thick mud brick walls surrounding most of it. There were four gates, and, depending on your status (slave, merchant, local or ruler) you entered by the north, east, west or south gate. It’s amazing that they have stood for so many centuries!
Khorezm is the ancient town about 50km from Urgench. Most of it has been destroyed centuries ago by Chinggis Khan. I can imagine the Mongols tearing across the plains, creating a massive dust storm, while the people of the various fortresses / citadels prepared to do battle. So many sites remind me of movies, you can almost imagine Star Wars being filmed in Uzbekistan…it lends itself perfectly to some of the desert scenes!
We left the desert and caught the overnight train back to Tashkent. That was an interesting experience too! When we first found our compartment, two men were having a meal and were stretched out very comfortably on our beds! This morning about six of them gathered in our compartment for breakfast…we waited patiently in the corridor for them to consume three pots of tea…but I had to ask them to leave (using my best teacher voice and expression) when they started making themselves at home in our spaces again!