Our first stop in Uzbekistan, Khiva. Ichan Kala is the walled inner town of the city of Khiva. The old town retains more than 50 historic monuments and 250 old houses, dating primarily from the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. Djuma Mosque, for instance, was established in the tenth century and rebuilt from 1788 to 1789, although its celebrated hypostyle hall still retains 112 columns taken from ancient structures.

The most spectacular features of Ichan Kala are its crenellated brick walls and four gates, one at each side of the rectangular fortress. Although the foundations are believed to have been laid in the tenth century, present-day 10-meters-high walls were erected mostly in the late seventeenth century and later repaired. A World Heritage Site with a fantastic history, there’s even a few tourists here.

It’s hard to imagine that this is a Muslim country, very laid back, western dress and friendly people.