28th.September 2019, Chimgan Mountains 1
We had driven to the hotel in the mountains the previous afternoon arriving at sunset. The hotel looked quite attractive but our rooms less so. The food in the evening in the hotel restaurant was good after we had solved the language problems. However breakfast took a long time to appear which did not help an early start.
For the first walk we had a mountain guide as well as our usual guide, so were 8 people altogether. The walk though was quite easy but quite long. We only climbed 150m despite the guide saying it was 300m and then descended a long broad ridge to the artificial lake in the valley below. The highest point reached was not quite 1,900m which surprised us since in our programme a height of 2,900m had been given! We met another german-speaking group whose guide was wearing flip-flops. At least our guide looked more professional. There were some views of the surrounding mountains but it was cloudy much of the time and even rained a little at first. After the hot summer the area looked very barren and brown. It would have certainly have looked better in the spring. The only wildlife we saw were some very large caterpillars and I was surprised that they found enough to eat.
In the evening we ate in a yurt, having various local dishes including some carp with rice. You could see them in an aquarium which also contained two giant catfish. Two men tried to catch one but it slipped from their hands and landed thrashing on the concrete floor before they managed to carry it off to the kitchen.
For its beauty and health-improving properties Chimgan is called “Uzbek Switzerland”. The slopes of mountains are covered with relict fir-tree forests. The mountains and hills have been eroded by mountain rivers, which people call “sai”. The air is fresh and pure with the fragrance of numerous flowers and herbs (the word “Chimgan” or “Chim yon” translates as “green grass”, “green valley”).
The development of this territory as a recreation zone was started as far back as the pre-revolution period. At the end of XIX century Russian doctors – officers built the hospital in Chimgan, because of the healing properties of mountain air. After the construction of a country residence of the Governor-General of Turkestan, Chimgan gained popularity among the citizens as the perfect recreation zone.
Today Chimgan is the most popular ski resort of Uzbekistan. The tourist complex Chimgan includes a number of high-rise buildings, hotels, cottages, cable car, a network of shops, bars, restaurants and other recreation institutions such as recreation zones, sanatoriums and summer camps.
The main inflow of tourists takes place in winter and spring. The ski season starts in December and lasts until March. Spring is the time of alpinists, rock climbers and sky surfers. In summer Chimgan offers interesting walks in mountain landscapes, paragliding and horse-riding. The Chimgan mountains attract tourists with apple-tree and fir-tree forests, burberry and dog rose bushes, tumultuous rivers, beautiful lakes and waterfalls.