We wandered along the back streets still within the fortification walls so as to get a grip of what the local houses really looked like, once we had only been around the tourist spots and had barely seen them from the Ak-Sheikh- Bobo.
Despite the simplicity of their architectural design they were still impressive, namely because the surrounding atmosphere was one of total cleanness ... walking along those streets was like walking on one's home floor and yet we could see shoes placed outside the house entrances.
We eventually walked into another small local Museum displaying silk apparel and silk made carpets. One particular object caught our attention because of its odd shape. We would soon find out it was used in the past to transport the silk across the various regions.
I couldn't help being mesmerised by the vibrant green coloured domes of the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum and the incomplete greenish majolica decorated Kalta-Minor minaret and the contrasting sand colour of the buildings. The more I looked at them the more I got fascinated. I believe I must have repeatedly taken their photos every time I passed by ... but the truth is I didn't get tired of looking at them.
We had lunch at a typical local restaurant and once more tasted the Uzbek cuisine, having learned that vegetables and the chunks of meat that go into the rather inconsistent soups are cut in large pieces in order to preserve the flavour.
We had a very tasty Pilaff (the traditional dish of the Uzbek cuisine) for our main course and were told there are about 1,200 different recipes, though it is mainly made from fried meat, onions, carrots and rice.
After lunch we ventured out of the fortification walls under an intense heat to visit the Nurullay Palace in the North-west part of theDishan-Kala.
Having been constructed in 1906-1912 by the order of the Mohammad Rakhim-Kahn II for his son, it displays a mixture of Khivan and European architectural elements. German colonists from the vicinity of Khiva participated in the decoration of the ceilings, frames and parquet. It was rather interesting because of the unexpected architectural design approach, now that we were getting used to the local architectural features.
(To be continued)