After our terrifying border crossing experience from Kazakhstan, we arrived in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It was blindingly sunny and dry. Like...really dry. Like Kashgar levels of dryness. I'm literally in a desert on a horse with no name or something I guess not literally but I was all a mess because my eyes are so dry! It may have been the climate (I mean it definitely was) but it also could have been due to the extensive construction projects happening all over town. Seriously was it just the season of construction works in this region? Everywhere we went we were stymied by drilling and jackhammering and dust flying errrwhere. So much dust and rubble! Despite all the dust and rubble, we had a decent time exploring Tashkent's mosques, museums, markets, and other m words. But my strongest memory will always be of something that starts not with 'm' but with an upside down 'm', a 'w'! (For watermelon.)
After our perfectly lovely time in Almaty, Kazakhstan, it was time to cross into our final 'stan, the one most believed of Herman Cain: Uzbekistan. There was no easy direct way to go from Almaty to our first destination in Uzbekistan - Tashkent - so we had to take an overnight train (but of course!) to Shymkent, Kazakhstan first, then get a taxi to the border, cross the border, and then get another taxi from the other side of the border to Tashkent. It was exhausting just to think about, but considering how relatively well our travels had gone so far, I was optimistic that it wouldn't be too troublesome. I think I've previously shared on this blog that IQ quote about being an optimist and fool? Yeah.