Tashkent / by Žiga Lovšin

I think people tend to underestimate the capital of Uzbekistan. Sure, it doesn’t have a fairytale-like old town like Bukhara or Khiva, but it has some beautiful modern mosques, the always lively Khast (or Hazrati) Imam Square and of course Chorsu Bazaar with delicious foods from Ovqat Bozari family-run restaurants. What I liked most was that the city is brimming with life, especially compared to a museum town like Khiva. People are gathering in parks and squares, doing all sorts of activities. The country is also loosening its iron grip it had under the late long-lasting president Islam Karimov. Recently it cancelled visas for EU countries and allowed photography in the amazing Tashkent metro stations. There is some serius progress to be seen in the construction of huge business buildings, usually glittering in glass and pure white facades. In another part of the city, however, you can still take a walk through a very countryside-like slum.