Continuing my ramble on the Silk Road to get from Khiva to Nukus I hired a private taxi with driver. At $USD45 for a full day 250k journey with substantial detours to visit long abandoned forts, this gives an idea of the cost of living in Uzbekistan.
The countryside is desert much like the Nullarbor as is apparent from the fort photos. This area was part of an ancient land called Khorezm in which many forts were constructed which are made of mud which dries rock hard. But when it rains, as it occasionally does .... well .... they turn to mud. So they have the look of slowly melting ice cream.
The restoration work at one fort uses the same still-in-use construction technique of mud mixed with straw.
Lucky to catch a photo of a beautiful bee eater there. Green on top and bright red underneath when they fly.
Arriving in Nukus, there are none of the turquoise mausoleums, mosques or madrassas of Samarkand, Bukhara or Khiva. It is a substantial, largely characterless city laid out in grid format with wide streets - purely a creation of the Soviet era.
But there is merit to be found in the Soviet style. I think the Hotel Tashkent is a good example - a well refurbished building from the 60s or thereabouts.
Uz Telecom is another.
As with the art in the Savitsky Museum, my taste might be dated (as some have said) but I can't not like what I like. And for a touch of modernity with reference to the past I also feel that the mosaic is a great work.
There is much urban renewal in Nukus as elsewhere in Uzbekistan. The apartment block photo shows one block of many almost complete. A handsome building. But it would be interesting to know how it performs in the continental climate where the average temperature in January is 0°C and 36°C in July.
Finally, perhaps those with a more modern palate than mine would prefer the recently completed Hotel Azia Nukus. Lovely!