There are only six complete skeletons of diplodocus dinosaurs known, and one of them, called Misty, was sold at an auction yesterday. For 400,000 GBP, you can actually buy a 17 m long dinosaur… Well, we had to make our own.
We go with the traditional view that dinosaurs are green. Matcha does it.
mention that Uzbekistan is not a vegetarian's paradise? Neither is the secluded
eastern province of Fergana, but at least there is a great selection of tasty
fruit and vegetables, the bakeries are not too bad, and a couple of Chinese
dishes have found their way into the region (some of them vegetarian).
displays of meats and innards such as this one, we guess, may have the
(unintended) effect of turning even more foreigners into vegetarians…
Chimgan Mountains are a spur of the Western Tian Shan, with the highest
mountain, the Greater Chimgan, reaching 3309 m. The area offers hiking
possibilities in summer and skiing in winter, and with a distance of only 85 km
to the capital Tashkent it seems perfect for a weekend day trip.
by public transport, as we had to realize... We took the Metro as far as the
eastern end of the city, then changed into a minibus to Gazalkent, from where
we had to go by taxi. Usually, that means a shared taxi in Uzbekistan: You just
book a seat and wait for other passengers to fill the car. Although it was a
Saturday, however, nobody seemed to have the same idea of a weekend trip and
after 45 minutes of waiting we decided to pay for all the seats in the shared
recommendations for a nice hike starting from the Big Chairlift. „You just go
to the waterfall! The path is easy to follow,“ our friend had said. When we
arrive at the Big Chairlift, though, we see several paths, but no recognizable
waterfall. „To the waterfall? It's best to take the chairlift up to the
mountain and walk from there,“ one of the vendors selling Coca Cola and Kurut,
the salty dried cheese balls, advises us. How convenient for us, as this means
less time spent walking and the opportunity to research another potential
tourist attraction on the way, namely the Big Chairlift. After all, we want to
get as many sights, tourist attractions, activities, and restaurant and
accommodation tips as possible out of this day trip.
glide over alpine meadows and rocks at a height of about 40 meters. Better not
think about the maintenance of this 1970s (or so) Russian chairlift.
there is another kiosk with Coca Cola and Kurut and a small walkway leads to a
lookout point. On one side of the path, tourists have knotted pieces of cloth to
a fence, which now appears like a shamanistic sanctuary. "To the
waterfall?" The warden points down a steep slope, but what looks like a
path at first soon peters out. We end up scrambling down back to the bottom of
the mountain to a larger trail, which we would have reached much faster from
the road without the chairlift detour, and then up again towards the canyon
with the waterfall. Soon the large trail disappears, and a vague path climbs up
along a little stream and past some small cascades. In the canyon, the
scrambling becomes more and more hazardous. "The waterfall?!" The
elderly Russian couple (a stocky guy with hat and walking stick, his wife all
in pink) – which may or may not have reached it – shrugs exhaustedly; it seems
to be quite far and over difficult terrain. We scramble a bit more uphill and
eventually give up and take another shared taxi to the shore of the Chorvoq
Reservoir with its hotels and beaches.
least the lake seems a far more popular option than the mountains, with people
bathing, surfing and paragliding. We have a look at the hotel rooms (not well
maintained and too expensive) and watch some Spanish bus tourists busily
walking around. Then we have a Coke in a classical heavy glass contour bottle
on the terrace. There's a holiday feeling in the air, not least because of the
contour bottle, we guess. And after a brief rest at the lakeside, we had back
to Tashkent where dozens of people shove into the minibus before we can even
get out. That's it: On a Saturday, people move into the city, not out of it.