Uzbekistan (25-03-05/04/2018)

When jokes become reality... After this phrase having been around for some years, Binis mom finally decided to take on the plan of visiting a cinema in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Which was accomplished. Obviously you start with the most exotic destination if you have the idea to visit all the places showing up in movie trailer for the European arthouse cinema network. A family trip with Binis parents and sister to Uzbekistan to visit a movie theater in central asia and remnants of the silk road as a bonus - we decided to join the trip. I admit, with Easter approaching, missing out on Easter skiing in Norway and joining a cultural group travel sounded much less attractive than back in autumn when the travel was planned. At this point we did not know that several travel restrictions to Uzbekistan would loosen just very recently. Having been there, we all agreed that we probably had managed to organize the travel ourselves. Group traveling prejudices turned out to be true, this is definitely not may way of traveling and not going to be repeated soon. Even if we comprised a third of the whole travel group and likely irrittated fellow travelers as much as some of them annoyed us. It was shocking for me to realize how narrow-minded people can stay who are well educated and have seen many more countries than any of us - but always in the framed setting of an organized travel.
We got rewarded with plenty of impressions of a country in fast transition since it became independent in 1991, fascinating history and very impressive architecture, very kind and open people, a variety of excellent bread, and excess of beautiful blue ceramic tiles. Our travel route followed the silk road from east to west, from Fergana valley in the very east via Tashkent, Samarkant, Bukhara to Khiva. Apparently, travelers not matching the default cultural trip participant are still a rare sight outside of the tourist hot spots and at times we became very popular photo and selfie motives and/or conversation partners to practice English. Uzbekistan is a young country, the average age is currently 26.7 years (compared to 39.3 years in Norway and 46 years in Germany).