Driving to the Fergana Valley

We woke up in Tashkent this morning, had breakfast, and left for the Fergana Valley. It’s a region in the eastern part of Uzbekistan most many foreign visitors to the country skip. Not this family! We want to see it all! At one point, while we were driving along we looked up and there was a camel in the back of the truck in front of us.

A camel.

Our poor UAZ Patriot doesn’t handle mountains well. We couldn’t go up the passes much faster than the big semi trucks and at one point we were afraid our engine was going to overheat so we stopped to give it a rest. We had lunch here. Eggs, sausage, bread, and water.

Where we stopped for lunch.

After about a 4.5 hour drive we made it to our destination: The Palace of Khudayar Khan in Kokand. We arrived from the back of the place and parked in a huge empty lot behind the place and it looked completely unimpressive. I was thinking it was going to be a bust. Sometimes when we travel like this some things end up being not worth it, but!!! When we got around front… this place was different! It was great!

The courtyard of the palace.

It’s been mostly restored and it’s gorgeous, but we’ve seen lots of old palaces before. The thing we liked the most was the museum. There had lots of neat stuff in it. The most interesting to us was the reference to some petroglyphs we have not heard about anywhere else before and we’ve done lots of research on Uzbekistan. Now we have a new place added to our want to see list.

We were pretty tired after that so we checked Google Maps for hotels nearby and found the Silk Road Kokand Palace Hotel with good reviews. We seem to be the only guests here. I mentioned this in a previous post but it’s so surreal traveling at this exact time in history. museums are empty, restaurants are empty, hotels are empty. everything is empty. My husband and I are both vaccinated, but our teen daughter isn’t. We had serious discussions about whether we should travel this summer or not and if we were going to travel where we should go. Our conversations went around and around and in the end we decided on no airplanes, road trip only, avoid large crowds, try to stay outdoors as much as possible. Oh my god! We had no idea avoiding large crowds would be so easy! There’s no one here! No one! It’s just us everywhere we go!

The restaurant at the hotel. it’s just us.