Charging at a 220V and 2 kW Schuko is usually our second choice. Even though it’s much more widely available (and easier to ask for), charging with only one phase takes much, much longer. If the car needs to be parked for a very long time at one single spot, we can’t take it anywhere. Due to our reduction in flexibility, we always prefer fast charging at a three-phase connection.
I am sure we could have found a CEE-outlet in Vladimir . An Airbnb host offered us to let us charge at a Schuko in the backyard of the house that we could rent an apartment in. That sounded brilliant! With an offer like that and the knowledge that we stay more than 48 hours at a city, we don’t mind Schuko charging. The only obstacle we had were the other inhabitants of the house. Especially an older lady was very skeptical about the Tesla. When we parked it a bit further away (and she didn’t really see it from her window anymore) and rolled out our extension cable, she was fine.
Just being tourists in Vladimir & Suzdal
Vladimir, as well as Suzdal, the city that we visited on our second day, are part of the Golden Ring of ancient Russian cities. Vladimir used to be the medieval capital of Russia. It’s a bit more industrial than its neighboring city, Suzdal, tough. Suzdal appears like an open-air museum considering the amount of old buildings that have been preserved and the lack of industrialization (missing any Soviet style flat buildings). We enjoyed strolling through both of these cities!
Like Bukhara, Samarkand used to be an important city for traders between Europe and China. Different rulers build remarkable buildings during different centuries in Samarkand. Thanks to a continues renovation since the Russians came to Uzbekistan, tourists in Samarkand can now marvel at impressive buildings.
Did our charging cause a electricity outlet?
We stayed at a small, family owned hotel, a bit outside of the main attraction area. The car was parked in their garage and at first, we tried charging on a Schuko. The electricity fluctuation was, again, too large, so charging stopped shortly after it started. After this happened the second time, Benedikt found the fuse box of the house. Of course, they had three-phase electricity ;-). He connected the cables of our “open adapter” and we started to charge with 16 amperes. After setting everything up, he returned to me in the hotel-room and then it made “click” and there was a power outage. Uuuuups, was it us?!? We were already expecting to have a major discussion to explain that we can also charge with less amperes and so on. But, the blackout wasn’t our fault. The whole city was out of power. Since the generator was turned on only few minutes after the outage started, this seems to happen quite frequently in Samarkand. We continued charging the following day (only with 10 amperes, to be on the safe side), when power was back.
Just being tourists
Our current rhythm of stopping at a city for 2 days, feels good to us. That way, we also had in Samarkand a whole day to wonder from sight to sight. We hated the terrible price discrimination in Iran for touristic sights (tourists pay about 8-times more than Iranians), but in Samarkand it was even higher. As a tourist, you are supposed to pay 13-times the prices an Uzbek is paying. At least, that price is still almost half of the entry fees one needed to pay in Iran (Iran: 5 USD for every sight – Uzbekistan: 3 USD for largest sight in town). The sight we payed it for (Registan) was absolutely stunning and definitely worth that money.
Last thing to mention is that we were one more time extremely lucky with finding an excellent restaurant in Samarkand. We were guests at a beautiful and delicious restaurant in Bukhara. At both restaurants, we didn’t pay much more than 10€ (for a three-course dinner). Going to restaurants in Uzbekistan has been a blast so far 😉.
We had no wi-fi in our last hotel in Turkmenistan. Internet accessibility is still very low in Turkmenistan. The amount of sides that are not accessible, is on the other side extremely high. Due to no internet, we couldn’t check out any hotel ahead, before we arrived in Bukhara.
Sometimes one needs to be lucky. We were extremely lucky with the hotel we found in Bukhara. It was in a former madrasa that was beautifully renovated. In this nice surrounding, we enjoyed an extremely comfortably bed… since almost three months, we are sleeping every to every second night in a new bed. Some of them are extremely uncomfortable and make it hard (literally 😉) to sleep on them. Besides extremely hard mattresses, old mattresses with springs sticking out, are uncomfortable. I noticed that my sleep quality just depends on mattress quality and in that bed in Bukhara I slept like a baby.
Challenging charging due to heavy electricity fluctuation
We parked the Tesla behind a gate leading to the office of the hotel. There was a Schuko outlet that we could use for charging the car. Unfortunately, the electricity was very shaky. If the voltage is fluctuating too much, the Tesla stops charging. The cause of the fluctuation was probably that the transformer of the neighborhood wasn’t well adjusted to the electricity need of the people. We had similar problems in Turkey. During night, fewer people (and their machinery) are using electricity. The fluctuation is therefore lower and we were able to charge the car during the two subsequent nights that we were in Bukhara.
The old city of Bukhara is Unesco World Heritage. There is one architectural monument next to each other in the city. One wonders around old mosques, baths, madrasas and mausoleums. Most of them are decorated with beautiful tile-work in bright blue, turquoise and golden colors. We enjoyed this travel back in time.
Drive from Bukhara to Samarkand
The surface of the roads to Samarkand, the city we drove to after Bukhara, was only slightly better than the road leading to Bukhara from the border. We adjust our driving that way that we only go 50 to 70 km/h so we can avoid the potholes in the road.
We got stopped two times by the police on our way. Similar to toll collection booths in other countries, the police in Uzbekistan blocks in average every 100km the road. Either they ignore you or they point a stick at you and you need to stop. We started to only give copies of our documents to them, since we heard that some police could be corrupt and wants money to return you your documents. During the first police stop, they wrote our data us in a big book (the country isn’t very digital yet…). The officer at the second police stop insisted to see our original documents, but eventually he let us go. I have no idea what the aim of their controls is, so I continue to see no reason for them to flip through out passports as if they were picture books for children. I hope all the other police controls that will follow will be as smooth as the last were.