It’s been six months since our last post. An epic failure on our part to keep our followers updated on life in Uzbekistan. This time last year, we were nearing the end of our “Last 100 Days in Italy” series, as we prepared to continue the great PashbyMaul adventure in Central Asia. Here’s what you’ve missed:
Shortly after our last update on the October trip to Samarkand, the PashbyMauls took a short trip to South Korea. Compared to Uzbekistan, we were amazed by the futuristic level of advanced technological infrastructure in Seoul, and of course ate as much seafood as we could get our chopsticks on. We won’t soon forget our luxurious stay at the ultra modern Courtyard Marriott Seoul-Pangyo where we experienced the best of international style Korean hospitality. We can’t wait to go back for more!
Our winter holiday travels saw us experience our first flight on the post-soviet Aeroflot Russian Airlines and the still draconian transfer experience that is Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport. Contrast that to the ultra efficient semi-automated arrivals process at JFK airport and the Delta flagship lounge experience of terminal-4. One thing we did learn is that an Uzbekistan to USA flight itinerary is a completely exhausting experience we do not wish to repeat anytime soon.
Christmas was spent in Midland, Michigan, followed by a brief stop in Athens, Georgia, before embarking on a five-day Mexican Riveria New Year’s cruise from Tampa, Florida. In addition to relaxation, and exploration of Mayan Ruins, we were able to reconnect with family who are the majority of the time literally half a world away. By the time we arrived back in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, it became crystal clear how far away we really are living in Central Asia.
In February we had the privilege of being hosted by an Uzbek family in Navoi for a quick weekend getaway, and got to experience a side of Uzbekistan well off the typical tourist trail. We joined a family outing to Nurata, clambered all over a hill fortress of Alexander the Great, and participated in a blessing at the ancient shrine of Shahimardan, in Gazgan, city of stone. Our hosts also graciously drove us to and from the Samarkand train station, while en-route, we were stopped by the police no fewer than three times!
Our Spring Break adventure we’ll detail more thoroughly in a separate post – but it involves our best travel companion, Mike, who flew all the way from Belgium to visit us. We flew Uzbekistan Airways to Urgench, Karakalpakstan, explored the silk road cities of Khiva, Bukharah and Samarkand, and drove deep into the desert to witness the Golden Ring of Ancient Khorezm.
More to follow… but if you can’t wait, and want to check out some of our photography, feel free to view our instagram feed at instagram.com/pmtravels