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We have flown from Tashkent to Khiva and already explored the city for two days, while our driver Shamil has driven the 1000 km long way by car. This morning, he is ready again to drive us to Bukhara.
One last look at the city walls, then we drive towards Urgench, which we leave to our left. After crossing the Amu Darya river we continue to the Ayaz Kala fortress.
The Ayaz Kala fortress lies on the right shore of the Amu Darya, approximately 40 km northeastern of the city of Beruniy, which was called Kath in ancient times. Actually, these are three fortresses, with the largest on the top of a hill. Originally they were surrounded by mighty clay walls. Today, the fortresses are given over to decay. Erosion by the weather and tourists cause decay of walls. The topmost fortress dates from the 4th century BC.
It was a so-called refuge with a large, unspoiled courtyard and served to protect against marauding nomads. In case of danger, the population together with its animals retracted into the fortress.
For about 1300 years, the fortresses are uninhabited. At that time, the surrounding landscape was still wetland and green pastureland. With the drying up of the Aral Sea, the surrounding land turned into desert.
Sirojiddin from Registon Travel wants to go high on this day. Although the desert may be very dry here, the sparse plants are still enough to feed small herds of camels.
Little lizards run between the dry bushes around again and again.
In the plain in front of it are the remains of a third fortress, of which hardly anything is visible anymore.
Another smaller fortress lies on a hill in front. It dates from the 7th century AD. In the plain in front of it are the remains of a third fortress, of which hardly anything is visible anymore.
A little yurt village, where you can spend the night, is set up on half height.
Next >>> Passing through the Kyzylkum Desert
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